The Story of Opal
The Journal of
An Understanding Heart
Photograph by Bachrach
OPAL WHITELEY RECONSTRUCTING HER DIARY
The Story of Opal
The Journal of
An Understanding Heart
The Atlantic Monthly Press
COPYRIGHT, 1920, BY THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY COMPANY
COPYRIGHT, 1920, BY THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY PRESS
All rights reserved
FOR those whom Nature loves, the Story of Opal is an open
book. They need no introduction to the journal of this Under-
standing Heart. But the world, which veils the spirit and
callouses the instincts, makes curiosity for most people the
criterion of interest. They demand facts and backgrounds,
theories and explanations, and for them it seems worth while
to set forth something of the child's story undisclosed by the
diary, and to attempt to weave together some impressions of
Last September, late one afternoon, Opal Whiteley came
into the Atlantic's office, with a book which she had had
printed in Los Angeles. It was not a promising errand, though
it had brought her all the way from the Western coast, hoping
to have published in regular fashion this volume, half fact,
half fancy, of The Fairyland Around Us, the fairyland of
beasts and blossoms, butterflies and birds. The book was
quaintly embellished with colored pictures,. pas icd in by hand,
and bore a hundred marks of special loving^care. -Yet about
it there seemed little at first sight to tom^t a publisher. In-
deed, she had offered her wares in vam vo rnoie than one pub-
lishing house; and as her dollars were, growing, very few, the
disappointment was severe. But about Opal Whiteley her-
self there was something to attract the attention even of a
man of business something very young and eager and flut-
tering, like a bird in a thicket.
The talk went as follows :
" I am afraid we can't do anything with the book. But you
must have had an interesting life. You have lived much in
"Yes, in lots of lumber-camps."
"Nineteen. At least, we moved nineteen times."
It was hard not to be interested now. One close question
followed another regarding the surroundings of her girlhood.
The answers were so detailed, so sharply remembered, that
the next question was natural.
" If you remember like that, you must have kept a diary."
Her eyes opened wide. "Yes, always. I do still."
"Then it is not the book I want, but the diary."
She caught her breath. "It's destroyed. It's all torn up."
Tears were in her eyes.
"You loved it?"
"Yes; I told it everything."
"Then you kept the pieces."
The guess was easy (what child whose doll is rent asunder
throws away the sawdust?), but she looked amazed.
"Yes, I have kept everything. The pieces are all stored in
We telegraphed for them, and they came, hundreds, thou-
sands, one might almost say millions of them. Some few were
large as a half-sheet of notepaper; more, scarce big enough
to hold a letier of the alphabet. The paper was of all shades,
sorts, and sizes: butchers' -bags pressed and sliced in two,
wrapping-paper, t'he backs. of envelopes anything and
everything that could -hold -writing. The early years of the
diary are prinfc-eo'-'n 'letters' ie cl'ose that, when the sheets are
fitted, not another letter 'can be squeezed in. In later passages
the characters are written with childish clumsiness, and later
still one sees the gradually forming adult hand.
The labor of piecing the diary together may fairly be
described as enormous. For nine months almost continuously
the diarist has labored, piecing it together sheet by sheet,
each page a kind of picture-puzzle, lettered, for frugality (the
store was precious), on both sides of the paper.
The entire diary, of which this volume covers but the two
opening years, must comprise a total of a quarter of a million
words. Upwards of seventy thousand all that is contained
in this volume can be ascribed with more than reasonable
definiteness to the end of Opal's sixth and to her seventh year.
During all these months Opal Whiteley has been a frequent
visitor in the Atlantic's office. With friendliness came confi-
dence, and little by little, very gradually, an incident here,
another there, her story came to be told. She was at first
eager only for the future and for the opportunity to write
and teach children of the world which she loved best. But as
the thread of the diary was unraveled, she felt a growing in-
terest in what her past had been, and in what lay behind her
earliest recollections and the opening chapters of her printed
Her methods were nothing if not methodical. First, the
framework of a sheet would be fitted and the outer edges
squared. Here the adornment of borders in childish patterns,
and the fortunate fact that the writer had employed a variety
of colored crayons, using each color until it was exhausted,
lent an unhoped-for aid. Then, odd sheets were fitted together;
later, fragments of episodes. Whenever one was completed, it
was typed by an assistant on a card, and in this way there
came into being a card-system that would do credit to a scien-
tific museum of modest proportions. Finally the cards were
filed in sequence, the manuscript then typed off and printed
just as at first written, with no change whatever other than
omissions, the adoption of reasonable rules of capitalization
(the manuscript for many years has nothing but capitals),
and the addition of punctuation, of which the manuscript is
entirely innocent. The spelling with the exception of oc-
casional characteristic examples of the diarist's individual
Style has, in the reader's interest, been widely amended,
Opal Whiteley so her story runs was born about
twenty-two years ago where, we have no knowledge. Of
her parents, whom she lost before her fifth year, she is sure of
nothing except that they loved her, and that she loved them
with a tenacity of affection as strong now as at the time of
parting. To recall what manner of people they were, no
physical proof remains except, perhaps, two precious little
copybooks, which held their photographs and wherein her
mother and father had set down things which they wished
their little daughter to learn, both of the world about her and
of that older world of legend and history, with which the
diarist shows such capricious and entertaining familiarity.
These books, for reasons beyond her knowledge, were taken
away from Opal when she was about twelve years of age, and
have never been returned, although there is ground for be-
lieving that they are still in existence.
Other curious clues to the identity of her father and mother
come from the child's frequent use of French expressions, and
sometimes of longer passages in French, and from her ready
use of scientific terms. It is, perhaps, a fair inference that her
father was a naturalist by profession or native taste, and that
either he or her mother was French by birth or by education.
After her parents' death, there is an interlude in Opal's
recollection which she does not understand, remembering
only that for a brief season the sweet tradition of her mother's
care was carried on by an older woman, possibly a governess,
from whom, within a year, she was taken and, after recovering
from a serious illness, given to the wife of an Oregon lumber-
man, lately parted from her first child, Opal Whiteley,
whose place and name, for reasons quite unknown, were given
to the present Opal.
From some time in her sixth year to the present, her diary
has continued without serious interruption; and from the
successive chapters we shall see that her life, apart from the
gay tranquillity of her spirit, was not a happy one. Her
friends were the animals and everything that flies or swims;
her single confidant was her diary, to which she confided
every trouble and every satisfaction.
When Opal was over twelve years old, a foster-sister, in a
tragic fit of childish temper, unearthed the hiding-place of
the diary and tore it into a myriad of fragments. The work
of years seemed destroyed, but Opal, who had treasured its
understanding pages, picked up the pitiful scraps and stored
them in a secret box. There they lay undisturbed for many
Such in briefest outline is the story Opal told; and month
after month, while chapters of the diary were appearing in
the Atlantic, snatches of the same history, together with
descriptions of many unrecorded episodes, came in the editor's
mail; and though the weaving is of very different texture, the
pattern is unmistakably the pattern of the diary. Dates and
names, peregrinations and marriages, births, deaths, and
adventures less solemn and less apt to be accurately recol-
lected, occurred just as the diary tells them. The existence
of the diary itself was well remembered, though for many
years Opal had never spoken of it; a friend recalled the
calamitous day when the abundant chronicle of six years was
destroyed; and a cloud of witnesses bore testimony to the
multitudinous family of pets, and some even to the multi-
colored names they bore. There were many letters besides,
which came not to the Atlantic at all, but were part of Opal's
own correspondence with people "of understanding," mem-
bers by instinct of that free-masonry which, as she learned
long ago, binds folk of answering hearts and minds. Many of
these letters (which rest for safety in the Atlantic's treasury)
are messages of thanks for copies of that first book of Opal's -
engaging letters, very personal most of them, bearing sig-
natures to delight the eyes of collectors of autographs:
M. Clemenceau, M. Poincare, Lord Rayleigh, Lord Curzon,
members of the French cabinet, scientists, men of letters, men
of achievement. Opal has sought her friends all through the
world; but her lantern is bright and she has found them. Her
old Oregon teachers also have been quick to bear witness to
her talents, and to recall the formal lessons which often she
would not remember, and the other more necessary lessons
which she could not forget. They would ask too whence came
the French which they had never taught her. An attempt to
answer that would take us far afield. All we need do here is to
recall that first time, when Opal, full of puzzlement over letters
that simply would not shape themselves into familiar phrases,
turned to her editors and was told that they were French.
"But they can't be French! I never studied French."
But French they are, nevertheless.
If the story of Opal were written by another hand than her
own, the central theme of it would be faith. No matter how
doubtful the enterprise, the issue she always holds as certain,
simply because the world is good and God loves his children.
Loving herself all created things, from her barrel-full of cater-
pillars, whose evolution she would note and chronicle from
day to day, to the dogs and horses, squirrels, raccoons, and
bats which peopled the world she lived in, she would thank
God daily for them, and very early in her life determined to
devote the rest of it to spreading knowledge of them and of
their kind far and wide among little children.
To accomplish this, needed education, and an education
she would have. Those about her showed no interest; but by
picking berries, washing, and work of all rough sorts, Opal
paid for the books which the high school required. But she
must do more than this. She must go to college. To the State
University she went, counting it nothing that she should live
in a room without furniture other than a two-dollar cot, and
two coats for blankets. Family conditions, however, made
college impossible for her. After the illness and death of Mrs.
Whiteley, Opal borrowed a little money from friends in Cot-
tage Grove, Oregon, and started alone for Los Angeles, deter-
mined to seek her livelihood by giving nature lessons to classes
The privations and disappointments of the next two years
would make an heroic tale; but she persevered, and her
classes became successful. The next step was her nature book,
for which, by personal canvass for subscriptions, she raised
not less than the prodigious sum of $9400. But the printers
with a girl for a client, demanded more and still more money,
and when the final $600 necessary to make the booty mount
to $10,000 was not forthcoming, with a brutality that would do
credit to a Thenardier, first threatened, and then destroyed
A struggle for mere existence followed, but gradually
Opal triumphed, when she was overtaken by a serious illness
and taken to the hospital. New and merciful friends, such
as are always conjured up by such a life as Opal's, came to her
assistance, and after her recovery she soon started eastward,
to find a publisher for her ill-fated volume. The rest we know.
Yet, after all, our theme should not be Opal, but Opal's
book. She is the child of curious and interesting circum-
stance, but of circumstance her journal is altogether inde-
pendent. The authorship does not matter, nor the life from
which it came. There the book is. Nothing else is like it,
nor apt to be. If there is alchemy in Nature, it is in children's
hearts the unspoiled treasure lies, and for that room of the
treasure-house, the Story of Opal offers a tiny golden key.
THE ATLANTIC OFFICE, June, 1920.
CHARACTERS IN THE NARRATIVE xv ii
INTRODUCTION BY THE AUTHOR z
How Opal Goes along the Road beyond the Singing
Creek, and of all she Sees in her New Home 5
How Lars Porsena of Clusium Got Opal into Trouble,
and how Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael and Sadie
McKibben Gave her Great Comfort 9
Of the Queer Feels that Came out of a Bottle of Cas-
toria, and of the Happiness of Larry and Jean 14
How Peter Paul Rubens Goes to School 21
How Opal Comforted Aphrodite, and how the Fairies
Comforted Opal when there Was Much Sadness at
School 2 -
Opal Gives Wisdom to the Potatoes, Cleanliness to the
Family Clothes, and a Delicate Dinner to Thomas
Chatterton Jupiter Zeus <> r
The Adventure of the Tramper; and what Happens
on Long and on Short Days 47
How Opal Takes a Walk in the Forest of Chantilly;
she Visits Elsie and her Baby Boy, and Explains
Many Things to the Girl that Has no Seeing 55
Of an Exploring Trip with Brave Horatius; and how
Opal Kept Sadness away from her Animal Friends 69
How Brave Horatius is Lost and Found again, but
Peter Paul Rubens is Lost Forever 75
How Opal Took the Miller's Brand out of the Flour-
Sack, and Got Many Sore Feels thereby; and how
Sparks Come on Cold Nights; and how William
Shakespeare Has Likings for Poems 81
Of Elsie's Brand-New Baby, and all the Things that
Go with it; and the Goodly Wisdom of the Angels,
who Bring Folks Babies that Are like them 91
How Felix Mendelssohn and Lucian Horace Ovid
Virgil Go for a Ride; William Shakespeare Suffers
One Whipping and Opal Another 100
How Opal Feels Satisfaction Feels, and Takes a Ride
on William Shakespeare; and all that Came of it . 104
Of Jenny Strong's Visit, its Gladness and its Sadness 114
Of the Woods on a Lonesome Day, and the Friend-
liness of the Wood-Folks on December Days when
you Put your Ears Close and Listen 122
Of Works to be Done; and how it Was that a Glad
Light Came into the Eyes of the Man who Wears
Gray Neckties and Is Kind to Mice . 127
How Opal Pays One Visit to Elsie and Another to
Dear Love, and Learns how to Mend her Clothes
in a Quick Way 131
Of the Camp by the Mill by the Far Woods; of the
Spanking that Came from the New Way of Mend-
ing Clothes; and of the Long Sleep of William
Of the Little Song-Notes that Dance about Babies;
and of the Solemn Christening of Solomon Grundy 146
How Opal Names Names of the Lambs of Aidan of
lona, and Seeks for the Soul of Peter Paul Rubens 158
How Solomon Grundy Falls Sick and Grows Well
again; and Minerva's Chickens are Christened;
and the Pensee Girl, with the Far-Away Look in
her Eyes, Finds Thirty-and-Three Bunches of
How Opal and Brave Horatius Go on Explores and
Visit the Hospital. How the Mamma Dyes
Clothes and Opal Dyes Clementine. .' 177
How the Mamma's Wish Came True, and how Opal
was Spanked for it; and of the Likes which Aphro-
dite Had for a Clean Place to Live in 185
Of Many Washings and a Walk 193
Why it Was that the Girl who Has no Seeing Was
not at Home when Opal Called 197
Of a Cathedral Service in the Pig-Pen. How the
World Looks from a Man's Shoulder 204
How Opal Piped with Reeds, and what a Good Time
Dear Love Gave Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus 212
How Opal Feels the Heat of the Sun, and Decorates a
Goodly Number of the White Poker-Chips of the
Chore Boy 218
How Opal and the Little Birds from the Great Tree
Have a Happy Time at the House of Dear Love. . . . 226
How Lola Wears her White Silk Dress at Last 231
Of the Ways that Fairies Write, and the Proper Way
to Drink in the Song of the Wood 234
Of the Death of Lars Porsena of Clusium, and of the
Comfort that Sadie McKibben can Give 242
Of the Fall of the Great Tree, and the Funeral of
How the Man of the Long Step that Whistles Most of
the Time Takes an Interesting Walk 253
Of Taking-Egg Day, and the Remarkable Things that
Befell thereon 2 -
Of the Strange Adventure in the Woods on the Going-
Away Day of Saint Louis 2 7o
How Opal Makes Prepares to Move. How she Col-
lects all the Necessary Things, Bids Good-bye to
Dear Love, and Learns that her Prayer has been
Answered 27 -
POSTSCRIPT 2 o
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
OPAL WHITELEY RECONSTRUCTING HER DIARY Frontispiece
THE AUTHOR AND THE FRAGMENTS OF HER DIARY . . i
A SPECIMEN PAGE OF OPAL'S DIARY WRITTEN ON A
PAPER BAG 13
LUMBER-CAMP FOLK 33
AT THE PASTURE-BARS 78
"AFTER WE WERE ACROSS THE RIVIERE WE WENT IN A
MORE SLOW WAY" 108
"I WONDER WHY IT IS THE LUMBER-CAMP FOLK DO CUT
OFF THEIR OVERALLS WHERE THEY DO MEET THE
A PATH TO "EXPLORES" IN THE FAR WOODS 187
CHARACTERS IN THE NARRATIVE
AGAMEMNON MENELAUS DINDON, a pet turkey.
ADAMNAN OF IONA, a sheep.
ALAN OF BRETAGNE, a fir tree.
AIDAN OF IONA come from Lindisfarne, the shepherd.
ALBERIC DE BRIANCON, a sheep.
ALCUIN, a sheep.
ALFRIC OF CANTERBURY, a sheep.
ANACREON HERODOTUS, a lamb a little more little than the
other little lamb.
ANDROMEDA, sister hen of Clementine.
ANTHONYA MUNDY, Solomon Grundy's little pig sister that has
not got as much curl in her tail as has Solomon Grundy.
APHRODITE, the mother-pig.
ARISTOTLE, a pet bat who died of eating too many mosquitoes.
BEBE BLANCHE \ ,. , , , , TTT
BEBE WILLIAM / two llttle trees b ^ Edward IIL
BEDE OF JARROW, a sheep.
BEN JONSON, one of Minerva's baby chickens.
BRAVE HORATIUS, the shepherd dog.
BYRON, a fir tree in the lane.
CASSIOPEE, a neighbor's pig.
CARDINAL RICHELIEU, one of Minerva's baby chickens.
CHARLEMAGNE, the most tall tree of all the trees growing
in the lane.
CLEMENTINE, a Plymouth Rock hen.
CYNEWULF, a sheep.
DALLAN FORGAILL, a sheep.
DEAR LOVE AND HER YOUNG HUSBAND, neighbors and dear
EDMUND SPENSER, one of Minerva's bqby chickens.
EDWARD III, a fir tree near the singing creek where the wil-
EDWARD, PRINCE OF WALES, a younger tree growing near
unto Edward III.
EDWIN OF DIERA, a sheep.
ELIDOR, a sheep.
ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, a pet cow with poetry in
ELSIE AND HER YOUNG HUSBAND, neighbors and interesting
EPICURUS PYTHAGORAS, a lamb.
ETIENNE OF BLOIS, a fir tree in the woods.
FELIX MENDELSSOHN, a very dear pet mouse.
FELIX OF CROYLAND, a sheep.
FRANCIS BEAUMONT, one of Minerva's baby chickens.
GEOFFROI CHAUCER, a little squirrel that was hurt by the
GODEFROI OF BOUILLON, a fir tree in the woods.
GOOD KING EDWARD I, a fir tree growing in the lane.
GRANDPERE, Mrs. Whiteley's father.
GUY DE CAVAILLON, a sheep.
GWIAN, a sheep.
HOMER ARCHIMEDES CHILON, a little lamb more big than
all the other lambs.
HUGH CAPET, a fir tree growing in the lane.
ISAIAH, a plain dog.
JEAN DE LA FONTAINE, one of Minerva's baby chickens.
JEAN MOLIERE, one of Minerva's baby chickens.
JEAN RACINE, one of Minerva's baby chickens.
JENNY STRONG, a visitor with an interesting bonnet.
JOHN OF GAUNT, DUKE OF LANCASTER, a tree growing near
unto Edward III.
JOHN FLETCHER, one of Minerva's baby chickens.
KEATS, an oak tree in the lane.
LARS PORSENA OF CLUSIUM, a pet crow with a fondness for
LIONEL, DUKE OF CLARENCE, a tree growing near unto
LOLA, a little girl in school, who had wants for a white silk
Louis II, LE GRAND CONDE, a wood-mouse with likes to ride
in the sleeve of my red dress.
Louis VI, a grand fir tree in the woods.
LUCIAN HORACE OVID VIRGIL, a toad.
"MAMMA, THE," Mrs. Whiteley.
MARCUS AURELIUS, a lamb.
MATHILDE PLANTAGENET, the baby calf of the gentle Jersey
cow, that came on the night of the coming of Elsie's baby.
MENANDER EURIPIDES THEOCRITUS THUCYDIDES, a most
dear lamb that had needs to be mothered.
MICHAEL ANGELO SANZIO RAPHAEL, a grand fir tree with an
NANNERL MOZART, a very shy mouse.
NAPOLEON, the Rhode Island Red rooster.
NICHOLAS BOILEAU, one of Minerva's baby chickens.
OLIVER GOLDSMITH, one of Minerva's baby chickens.
ORDERIC, a sheep.
"PAPA, THE," Mr. Whiteley.
PEACE, a mother hen that has got all her children grown up.
PERIANDER PINDAR, a lamb.
PETER PAUL RUBENS, a very dear pet pig.
Pius VII, one of Minerva's baby chickens.
T> ,- twin bats.
PLUTARCH DEMOSTHENES, a lamb.
QUEEN ELEANOR OF CASTILE, a fir tree in the lane growing
by Edward I.
QUEEN PHILIPPA OF HAINAULT, a fir tree growing by
RAOUL DE HOUDENC, a sheep.
RAYMOND OF TOULOUSE, a fir tree in the woods.
SADIE McKiBBEN, a comforter in time of trouble.
SAINT Louis, a fir tree growing in the lane.
SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE, one of Minerva's baby chickens.
SAVONAROLA, a sorrel horse.
SHELLEY, a fir tree growing in the lane.
SIR FRANCIS BACON, one of Minerva's baby chickens.
SIR PHILIP SIDNEY, one of Minerva's baby chickens.
SIR WALTER RALEIGH, one of Minerva's baby chickens.
SOLOMON GRUNDY, a very dear baby pig.
SOLON THALES, a lamb.
SOPHOCLES DIOGENES, a lamb with a short tail and a ques-
tion-look in his eyes.
THEODORE ROOSEVELT, a fir tree in the lane.
THOMAS CHATTERTON JUPITER ZEUS, a most dear velvety
TIBULLUS THEOGNIS, a fuzzy lamb with very long legs.
WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY, a little bird that was
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, an old gray horse with an under-
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, an oak tree in the lane.
The Story of Opal
The Journal of
An Understanding Heart
THE STORY OF OPAL
INTRODUCTION BY THE AUTHOR
OF the days before I was taken to the lumber
camps there is little I remember. As piece by piece
the journal comes together, some things come back.
There are references here and there in the journal
to things I saw or heard or learned in those days
before I came to the lumber camps.
There were walks in the fields and woods. When
on these walks, Mother would tell me to listen to
what the flowers and trees and birds were saying.
We listened together. And on the way she told me
poems and other lovely things, some of which she
wrote in the two books and also in others which I
had not with me in the lumber camps. On the
walks, and after we came back, she had me to
print what I had seen and what I had heard. After
that she told me of different people and their won-
derful work on earth. Then she would have me tell
again to her what she had told me. After I came to
the lumber camp, I told these things to the trees
and the brooks and the flowers.
There were five words my mother said to me
over and over again, as she had me to print what I
had seen and what I had heard. These words were:
2 THE STORY OF OPAL
What, Where, When, How, Why. They had a very
great influence over all my observations and the
recording of those observations during all the days
of my childhood. And my Mother having put such
strong emphasis on these five words accounts for
much of the detailed descriptions that are through-
out my diary.
No children I knew. There were only Mother
and the kind woman who taught me and looked
after me and dressed me, and the young girl who
fed me. And there was Father in those few days
when he was home from the far lands. Those were
wonderful days his home-coming days. Then he
would take me on his knee and ride me on his
shoulder and tell me of the animals and birds of the
far lands. And we went for many walks, and he
would talk to me about the things along the way.
It was then he taught me comparer.
There was one day when I went with Mother in
a boat. It was a little way on the sea. It was a
happy day. Then something happened and we
were all in the water. Afterward, when I called for
Mother, they said the sea waves had taken her and
she was gone to heaven. I remember the day be-
cause I never saw my Mother again.
The time was not long after that day with Mother
in the boat, when one day the kind woman who
taught me and took care of me did tell me gently
that Father too had gone to heaven while he was
away in the far lands. She said she was going to
THE STORY OF OPAL 3
take me to my grandmother and grandfather, the
mother and father of my Father.
We started. But I never got to see my dear
grandmother and grandfather, whom I had never
seen. Something happened on the way and I was
all alone. And I did n't feel happy. There were
strange people that I had never seen before, and I
was afraid of them. They made me to keep very
still, and we went for no walks in the field. But we
traveled a long, long way.
Then it was they put me with Mrs. Whiteley.
The day they put me with her was a rainy day, and
I thought she was a little afraid of them too. She
took me on the train and in a stage-coach to the
lumber camp. She called me Opal Whiteley, the
same name as that of another little girl who was
the same size as I was when her mother lost her.
She took me into the camp as her own child, and
so called me as we lived in the different lumber
camps and in the mill town.
With me I took into camp a small box. In a
slide drawer in the bottom of this box were two
books which my own Mother and Father, the
Angel Father and Mother I always speak of in my
diary, had written in. I do not think the people
who put me with Mrs. Whiteley knew about the
books in the lower part of the box, for they took
everything out of the top part of the box and tossed
it aside. I picked it up and kept it with me, and,
being- as I was more quiet with it in my arms, they
4 THE STORY OF OPAL
allowed me to keep it, thinking it was empty.
These books I kept always with me, until one day
I shall always remember, when I was about twelve
years old, they were taken from the box I kept
then hid in the woods. Day by day I spelled over
and over the many words that were written in
them. From them I selected names for my pets.
And it was the many little things recorded there
that helped me to remember what my Mother and
Father had already told me of different great lives
and their work; and these books with these records
made me very eager to be learning more and more
of what was recorded in them. These two books I
studied much more than I did my books at school.
Their influence upon my life has been great.
How Opal Goes along the Road beyond the Singing Creek, and
of all she Sees in her New Home.
TO-DAY the folks are gone away from the house
we do live in. They are gone a little way away, to
the ranch-house where the grandpa does live. I sit
on our steps and I do print. I like it this house
we do live in being at the edge of the near woods.
So many little people do live in the near woods. I
do have conversations with them. I found the near
woods first day I did go explores. That was the
next day after we were come here. All the way
from the other logging camp in the beautiful moun-
tains we came in a wagon. Two horses were in front
of us. They walked in front of us all the way.
When first we were come, we did live with some
other people in the ranch-house that was n't all
builded yet. After that we lived in a tent, and often
when it did rain many raindrops came right through
the tent. They did fall in patters on the stove and
on the floor and on the table. Too, they did make
the quilts on the beds some damp but that did
n't matter much because they soon got dried hang-
ing around the stove.
By and by we were come from the tent to this
lumber shanty. It has got a divide in it. One room
we do have sleeps in. In the other room we do
6 THE STORY OF OPAL
have breakfast and supper. Back of the house are
some nice wood-rats. The most lovely of them all
is Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus. By the wood-
shed is a brook. It goes singing on. Its joy song
does sing in my heart. Under the house live some
mice. I give them bread-scraps to eat. Under the
steps lives a toad. He and I we are friends. I
have named him. I call him Lucian Horace Ovid
Between the ranch-house and the house we live
in is the singing creek where the willows grow. We
have conversations. And there I do dabble my toes
beside the willows. I feel the feels of gladness they
do feel. And often it is I go from the willows to the
meeting of the road. That is just in front of the
ranch-house. There the road does have divides. It
goes three ways. One way the road does go to the
house of Sadie McKibben. It does n't stop when it
gets to her house, but mostly I do. The road just
goes on to the mill town a little way away. In its
going it goes over a hill. Sometimes the times
Sadie McKibben is n't at home I do go with
Brave Horatius to the top of the hill. We look looks
down upon the mill town. Then we do face about
and come again home. Always we make stops at
the house of Sadie McKibben. Her house it is
close to the mill by the far woods. That mill makes
a lot of noise. It can do two things at once. It
makes the noises and also it does saw the logs into
boards. About the mill do live some people, mostly
THE STORY OF OPAL 7
men-folks. There does live the good man that wears
gray neckties and is kind to mice.
Another way, the road does go the way I go
when I go to the school-house where I go to school.
When it is come there, it does go right on on to
the house of the girl who has no seeing. When it
gets to her house, it does make a bend, and it does
go its way to the blue hills. As it goes, its way is
near unto the way of the riviere that sings as it
comes from the blue hills. There are singing brooks
that come going to the riviere. These brooks
they and I we are friends. I call them Orne and
Loing and Yonne and Rille and Essonne.
Near unto the road, long ways between the
brooks, are ranch-houses. I have not knowing of
the people that do dwell in them. But I do know
some of their cows and horses and pigs. They are
friendly folk. Around the ranch-houses are fields.
Woods used to grow where now grows grain. When
the mowers cut down the grain, they also do cut
down the cornflowers that grow in the fields. I
follow along after and I do pick them up. Of some
of them I make a guirlande. When the guirlande
is made, I do put it around the neck of William
Shakespeare. He does have appreciations. As we
go walking down the lane, I do talk with him about
the one he is named for. And he does have under-
standing. He is such a beautiful gray horse, and
his ways are ways of gentleness. Too, he does have
likings like the likings I have for the hills that are
8 THE STORY OF OPAL
beyond the fields for the hills where are trails
and tall fir trees like the wonderful ones that do
grow by the road.
So go two of the roads. The other road does lead
to the upper logging camps. It goes only a little
way from the ranch-house and it comes to a riviere.
Long time ago, this road did have a longing to go
across the riviere. Some wise people did have un-
derstandings and they did build it a bridge to go
across on. It went across the bridge and it goes on
and on between the hills the hills where dwell
the talking fir trees. By its side goes the railroad
track. Its appears are not so nice as are the ap-
pears of the road, and it has got only a squeaky
voice. But this railroad track does have shining
rails they stretch away and away, like a silver
ribbon that came from the moon in the night. I go
a-walking on these rails. I get off when I do hear
the approaches of the dinky engine. On this track
on every day, excepting Sunday, comes and goes
the logging train. It goes to the camps and it does
bring back cars of logs and cars of lumber. These it
does take to the mill town. There engines more big
do take the cars of lumber to towns more big.
Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus has been wait-
ing in my sunbonnet a long time. He wants to go
on explores. Too, Brave Horatius and Isaiah are
having longings in their eyes. And I hear Peter
Paul Rubens squealing in the pig-pen. Now I go.
We go on explores.
How Lars Porsena of Clusium Got Opal into Trouble, and how
Michael A ngelo Sanzio Raphael and Sadie McKibben Gave
her Great Comfort.
TO-DAY was a warm, hot day. It was warm in the
morning and hot at noon. Before noon and after
noon and after that, I carried water to the hired
men in the field in a jug. I got the water out of the
pump to put into the jug. I had to put water in the
pump before any would come out. The men were
glad to have that water in the jug.
While I was taking the water in the jug to the
men in the field, from her sewing-basket Lars
Porsena of Clusium took the mamma's thimble,
and she didn't have it and she couldn't find it.
She sent me to watch out for it in the house and in
the yard and everywhere. I know how Lars Por-
sena of Clusium has a fondness for collecting things
of bright colors, like unto my fondness for collecting
rocks; so I ran to his hiding-place in the old oak
tree. There I found the mamma's thimble; but
she said the pet crow's having taken it was as
though I had taken it, because he was my property;
so I got a spanking with the hazel switches that
grow near unto our back steps. Inside me I could
n't help feeling she ought to have given me thanks
for finding the thimble.
io THE STORY OF OPAL
Afterwards I made little vases out of clay. I put
them in the oven to bake. The mamma found my
vases of clay. She threw them out the window.
When I went to pick them up, they were broken.
I felt sad inside. I went to talk things over with
my chum, Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael. He is
that most tall fir tree that grows just back of the
barn. I scooted up the barn door. From there
I climbed onto the lower part of the barn roof. I
walked up a ways. Up there I took a long look at
the world about. One gets such a good wide view
of the world from a barn roof. After, I looked looks
in four straight ways and four corner ways. I said a
little prayer. I always say a little prayer before I
jump off the barn into the arms of Michael Angelo
Sanzio Raphael, because that jump is quite a long
jump, and if I did not land in the arms of Michael
Angelo Sanzio Raphael, I might get my leg or neck
broken. That would mean I 'd have to keep still a
long time. Now I think that would be the most
awful thing that could happen, for I do so love to be
active. So I always say a little prayer and do that
jump in a careful way. To-day, when I did jump, I
did land right proper in that fir tree. It is such a
comfort to nestle up to Michael Angelo Sanzio
Raphael when one is in trouble. He is such a grand
tree. He has an understanding soul.
After I talked with him and listened unto his
voice, I slipped down out of his arms. I intended
to slip into the barn corral, but I slid off the wrong
THE STORY OF OPAL n
limb in the wrong way. I landed in the pig-pen
on top of Aphrodite, the mother-pig. She gave a
peculiar grunt. It was not like those grunts she
gives when she is comfortable.
I felt I ought to do something to make up to her
for having come into her home out of the arms of
Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael instead of calling
on her in the proper way. I decided a good way to
make it up to her would be to pull down the rail
fence in that place where the pig-pen is weak, and
take her for a walk. I went to the wood-shed.
I got a piece of clothes-line rope. While I was mak-
ing a halter for the mother-pig, I took my Sunday-
best hair-ribbon the blue ribbon the Uncle
Henry gave to me. I made a bow on that halter.
I put the bow just over her ears. That gave her the
proper look. When the mamma saw us go walking
by, she took the bow from off the pig. She put that
bow in the trunk; me she put under the bed.
By-and-by some time long it was she took
me from under the bed and gave me a spanking.
She did not have time to give me a spanking when
she put me under the bed. She left me there until
she did have time. After she did it she sent me to
the ranch-house to get milk for the baby. I walked
slow through the oak grove, looking for caterpillars.
I found nine. Then I went to the pig-pen. The
chore boy was fixing back the rails I had pulled
down. His temper was quite warm. He was saying
prayer words in a very quick way. I went not near
12 THE STORY OF OPAL
unto him. I slipped around near Michael Angelo
Sanzio Raphael. I peeked in between the fence-
rails. Aphrodite was again in the pig-pen. She was
snoozing, so I tiptoed over to the rain-barrel by the
barn. I raised mosquitoes in the rain-barrel for my
pet bats. Aristotle eats more mosquitoes than
Plato and Pliny eat.
On my way to the house I met Clementine, the
Plymouth Rock hen, with her family. She only has
twelve baby chickens now. The grandpa say the
other one she did have died of new monia because
I gave it too many baths for its health. When
I came to the house one of the cats, a black one,
was sitting on the doorstep. I have not friendly
feelings for that big black cat. Day before the
day that was yesterday I saw him kill the mother
hummingbird. He knocked her with his paw when
she came to the nasturtiums. I did n't even speak
Just as I was going to knock on the back door
for the milk, I heard a voice [on the front porch. It
was the voice of a person who has an understanding
soul. I hurried around to the front porch. There
was Sadie McKibben with a basket on her arm. She
beamed a smile at me. I went over and nestled up
against her blue gingham apron with cross stitches
on it. The freckles on Sadie McKibben's wrinkled
face are as many as are the stars in the Milky Way,
and she is awful old going on forty. Her hands
are all brown and cracked like the dried-up mud-
A SPECIMEN PAGE OF OPAL S DIARY WRITTEN ON
A PAPER BAG
THE STORY OF OPAL 13
puddles by the roadside in July, and she has an
understanding soul. She always has bandages
ready in her pantry when some of my pets get hurt.
There are cookies in her cookie-jar when I don't
get home for meals, and she allows me to stake out
earthworm claims in her back yard.
She walked along beside me when I took the milk
home. When she came near the lane, she took from
her basket wrapping-papers and gave them to me
to print upon. Then she kissed me good-bye upon
the cheek and went her way to her home. I went
my way to the house we live in. After the mamma
had switched me for not getting back sooner with
the milk, she told me to fix the milk for the baby.
The baby's bottle used to be a brandy bottle, but it
evoluted into a milk bottle when they put a nipple
I sit here on the doorstep printing this on the
wrapping-paper Sadie McKibben gave me. The
baby is in bed asleep. The mamma and the rest of
the folks is gone to the ranch-house. When they
went away, she said for me to stay in the doorway
to see that nothing comes to carry the baby away.
By the step is Brave Horatius. At my feet is
Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus. I hear songs
lullaby songs of the trees. The back part of me
feels a little bit sore, but I am happy listening to
the twilight music of God's good world. I'm real
glad I 'm alive.
Of the Queer Feels that Came out of a Bottle of Castoria, and
of the Happiness of Larry and Jean.
THE colic had the baby to-day, and there was no
Castoria for the pains; there was none because
yesterday Pearl 1 and I climbed upon a chair and
then upon the dresser and drank up the new bottle
of Castoria; but the bottle had an ache in it and we
swallowed the ache with the Castoria. That gave
us queer feels. Pearl lay down on the bed. I did
rub her head. But she said it was n't her head it
was her back that hurt. Then she said it was her
leg that ached. The mamma came in the house
then, and she did take Pearl in a quick way to the
It was a good time for me to go away exploring,
but I did n't feel like going on an exploration trip.
I just sat on the doorstep. I did sit there and hold
my chin in my hand. I did have no longings to
print. I only did have longings not to have those
queer feels. Brave Horatius came walking by. He
did make a stop at the doorstep. He wagged his
tail. That meant he wanted to go on an explora-
tion trip. Lars Porsena of Clusium came from the
oak tree. He did perch on the back of Brave
Horatius. He gave two caws. That meant he
1 A foster-sister.
THE STORY OF OPAL 15
wanted to go on an exploration trip. Thomas
Chatterton Jupiter Zeus came from under the
house. He just crawled into my lap. I gave him
pats and he cuddled his nose up under my curls.
Peter Paul Rubens did squeal out in the pig-pen.
He squealed the squeals he does squeal when he
wants to go on an exploration trip.
Brave Horatius did wait and wait, but still those
queer feels would n't go away. Pretty soon I got
awful sick. By-and-by I did have better feels. And
to-day my feels are all right and the mamma is gone
a-visiting and I am going on an exploration trip.
Brave Horatius and Lars Porsena of Clusium and
Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus and Peter Paul
Rubens are waiting while I do print this. And now
we are going the way that does lead to the blue hills.
Sometimes I share my bread and jam with Yel-
lowjackets, who have a home on the bush by the
road, twenty trees and one distant from the gar-
den. To-day I climbed upon the old rail fence close
to their home with a piece and a half of bread and
jam and the half piece for them and the piece for
myself. But they all wanted to be served at once,
so it became necessary to turn over all bread and
jam on hand. I broke it into little pieces, and they
had a royal feast there on the old fence-rail. I
wanted my bread and jam; but then Yellowjackets
are such interesting fairies, being among the world's
first paper-makers; and baby Yellowjackets are
16 THE STORY OF OPAL
such chubby youngsters. Thinking of these things
makes it a joy to share one's bread and jam with
these wasp fairies.
When I was coming back from feeding them I
heard a loud noise. That Rob Ryder was out there
by the chute, shouting at God in a very quick way.
He was begging God to dam that chute right there
in our back yard. Why, if God answered his prayer,
we would be in an awful fix. The house we live in
would be under water, if God dammed the chute.
Now I think anger had Rob Ryder or he would not
pray kind God to be so unkind.
When I came again to the house we live in, the
mamma was cutting out biscuits with the baking-
powder can. She put the pan of biscuits on the
wood-box back of the stove. She put a most clean
dish-towel over the biscuits, then she went to gather
in clothes. I got a thimble from the machine
drawer. I cut little round biscuits from the big
biscuits. The mamma found me. She put the
thimble back in the machine drawer. She put me
under the bed. Here under the bed I now print.
By-and-by, after a long time, the mamma called
me to come out from under the bed. She told me
to put on my coat and her big fascinator on my
head. She fastened my coat with safety-pins, then
she gave me a lard-pail with its lid on tight. She
told me to go straight to the grandpa's house for
the milk, and to come straight home again. I started
to go straight for the milk. When I came near the
THE STORY OF OPAL 17
hospital, I went over to it to get the pet mouse,
Felix Mendelssohn. I though that a walk in the
fresh air would be good for his health. I took one
of the safety-pins out of my coat. I pinned up a
corner of the fascinator. That made a warm place
next to my curls for Felix Mendelssohn to ride in.
I call this mouse Felix Mendelssohn because some-
times he makes very sweet music.
Then I crossed to the cornfield. A cornfield is a
very nice place, and some days we children make
hair for our clothes-pin dolls from the silken tassels
of the corn that grow in the grandpa's cornfield.
Sometimes, which is quite often, we break the
cornstalks in getting the silk tassels. That makes
bumps on the grandpa's temper.
To-night I walked zigzag across the field to look
for things. Into my apron pocket I put bits of
little rocks. By a fallen cornstalk I met two of my
mouse friends. I gave them nibbles of food from
the other apron pocket. I went on and saw a fat
old toad by a clod. Mice and toads do have such
beautiful eyes. I saw two caterpillars on an ear of
corn after I turned the tassels back. All along the
way I kept hearing voices. Little leaves were
whispering, "Come, petite Francoise," over in the
lane. I saw another mouse with beautiful eyes.
Then I saw a man and woman coming across the
field. The man was carrying a baby.
Soon I met them. It was Larry and Jean and
their little baby. They let me pat the baby's hand
1 8 THE STORY OF OPAL
and smooth back its hair, for I do so love babies.
When I grow up I want twins and eight more
children, and I want to write outdoor books for
To-night, after Larry and Jean started on, I
turned again to wave good-bye. I remembered the
first time I saw Larry and Jean, and the bit of
poetry he said to her. They were standing by an
old stump in the lane where the leaves whispered.
Jean was crying. He patted her on the shoulder
"There, little girl, don't cry,
I'll come back and marry you by-and-by."
And he did. And the angels looking down from
heaven saw their happiness and brought a baby
real soon, when they had been married most five
months; which was very nice, for a baby is such a
comfort and twins are a multiplication table of
blessings. And Felix Mendelssohn is yet so little a
person, and the baby of Larry and Jean is growed
more big. On the day I did hear him say to her
that poetry it was then I did find Felix Mendels-
sohn there in the lane near to them. He was only a
wee little mouse then. And every week that he did
grow a more week old, I just put one more gray
stone in the row of his growing. And there was
nineteen more gray stones in the row when the An-
gels did bring the dear baby to Larry and Jean than
there was stones in the row when they was married.
And now there are a goodly number more stones in
THE STORY OF OPAL 19
the row of Felix Mendelssohn's weeks of growing old.
I have feels that there will be friendship between
the dear mouse Felix Mendelssohn and the dear
baby of Larry and Jean. For by the stump where
he did say that poetry to her was the abiding place
of Felix Mendelssohn when I did have finding of
him. This eventime he did snuggle more close by
my curls. I have so much likes for him. I did tell
him that this night-time he is to have sleeps close
by. When we were gone a little way, I did turn
again to wave good-bye to the baby of Larry and
After I waved good-bye to the dear baby, I
thought I 'd go around by the lane where I first saw
them and heard him say to her that poetry. It is
such a lovely lane. I call it our lane. Of course, it
does n't belong to Brave Horatius and Lars Por-
sena of Clusium and Thomas Chatterton Jupiter
Zeus and I and all the rest of us. It belongs to a
big man that lives in a big house, but it is our lane
more than it is his lane, because he does n't know
the grass and flowers that grow there, and the birds
that nest there, and the lizards that run along the
fence, and the caterpillars and beetles that go
walking along the roads made by the wagon wheels.
And he does n't stop to talk to the trees that grow
all along the lane.
All those trees are my friends. I call them by
names I have given to them. I call them Hugh
Capet and Saint Louis and Good King Edward I;
20 THE STORY OF OPAL
and the tallest one of all is Charlemagne, and the
one around where the little flowers talk most is
William Wordsworth, and there are Byron and
Keats and Shelley. When I go straight for the milk,
I do so like to come around this way by the lane
and talk to these tree friends. I stopped to-night
to give to each a word of greeting. When I got to
the end of the lane, I climbed the gate and thought
I had better hurry straight on to get the milk.
When I went by the barn, I saw a mouse run
around the corner and a graceful bat came near
unto the barn-door. I got the milk. It was near
dark time, so I came again home by the lane and
along the corduroy road. When I got most home, I
happened to remember the mamma wanted the
milk in a hurry, so I began to hurry.
I don't think I '11 print more to-night. I printed
this sitting on the wood-box, where the mamma put
me after she spanked me after I got home with the
milk. Now I think I shall go out the bedroom win-
dow and talk to the stars. They always smile so
friendly. This is a very wonderful world to live in.
How Peter Paul Rubens Goes to School.
IN the morning of to-day, when I was come part
way to school, when I was come to the ending of
the lane, I met a glad surprise. There was my dear
pet pig awaiting for me. I gave him three joy pats
on the nose, and I did call him by name ten times.
I was so glad to see him. Being as I got a late
start to school, I did n't have enough time to go
around by the pig-pen for our morning talk. And
there he was awaiting for me, at the ending of the
lane. And his name it is Peter Paul Rubens. His
name is that because the first day I saw him was
on the twenty-ninth of June. He was little then
a very plump young pig with a little red ribbon
squeal and a wanting to go everywhere I did go.
Sometimes he would squeal and I would n't go to
find out what he wanted. Then one day, when his
nose was sore, he did give such an odd pain squeal.
Of course I run a quick run to help him. After
that, when he had a chance he would come to the
kitchen door and give that same squeal. That
Peter Paul Rubens seemed to know that was the
only one of all his squeals that would bring me at
once to where he was.
And this morning, when I did start on to school,
22 THE STORY OF OPAL
he gave that same squeal and came a-following
after. When he was caught up with me he gave a
grunt, and then he gave his little red ribbon squeal.
A lump came up in my throat and I could n't tell
him to turn around and go back to the pig-pen.
So we just went along to school together.
When we got there school was already took up. I
went in first. The new teacher came back to tell
me I was tardy again. She did look out the door.
She saw my dear Peter Paul Rubens. She did ask
me where that pig came from. I just started in to
tell her all about him, from the day I first met him.
She did look long looks at me. She did look those
looks for a long time. I made pleats in my apron
with my fingers. I made nine on one side and three
on the other side. When I was through counting
the pleats I did make in my apron, I did ask her
what she was looking those long looks at me for.
She said, "I'm screwtineyesing you." I never did
hear that word before. It is a new word. It does
have an interest sound. I think I will have uses for
it. Now when I look long looks at a thing I will
print I did screwtineyes it.
After she did look more long looks at me, she
went back to her desk by the blackboard. She did
call the sixth grade fiziologie class. I went to my
seat. I only sat half way in it. I so did so I would
have seeing of my dear Peter Paul Rubens. He did
wait at the steps. He looked long looks toward the
door. It was n't long until he walked right in. I
THE STORY OF OPAL 23
felt such an amount of satisfaction having him at
school. Teacher felt not so. Now I have wonders
about things. I wonder why was it teacher did n't
want Peter Paul Rubens coming to school. Why,
he did make such a sweet picture as he did stand
there in the doorway looking looks about. And the
grunts he gave, they were such nice ones. He stood
there saying: "I have come to your school. What
class are you going to put me in?" He said in plain
grunts the very same words I did say the first day
I came to school. The children all turned around
in their seats. I'm sure they were glad he was
come to school and him talking there in that dear
way. But I guess our teacher does n't have under-
standing of pig-talk. She just came at him in such
a hurry with a stick of wood. And when I made
interferes, she did send us both home in a quick
We did have a most happy time coming home.
We did go on an exploration trip. Before we were
gone far, we did have hungry feels. I took the lid
off the lard-bucket that my school lunch was in.
I did make divides of all my bread and butter.
Part I gave to Peter Paul Rubens and he did have
appreciations. He did grunt grunts for some more.
Pretty soon it was all gone. We did go on. We
went on to the woods. I did dig up little plants
with leaves that do stay green all winter. We saw
many beautiful things. Most everything we did
see I did explain about it to Peter Paul Rubens. I
24 THE STORY OF OPAL
told him why all about why I was digging up so
many of the little plants. I did want him to have
understanding that I was going to plant them again.
When I did have almost forty-five, and it was come
near eventime, Brave Horatius and Lars Porsena
of Clusium did come to meet us. When I did have
forty-five plants, we all did go in the way that does
lead to the cathedral, for this is the horning day of
Girolamo Savonarola. And in the cathedral I did
plant little plants as many years as he was old.
Forty-five I did so plant. And we had prayers and
How Opal Comforted Aphrodite, and how the Fairies Comforted
Opal when there Was Much Sadness at School.
APHRODITE has got a nice blue ribbon all her
very own, to wear when we go walking down the
lane and to services in the cathedral. The man that
wears gray neckties and is kind to mice did give to
Sadie McKibben the money to buy it last time she
went to the mill town. That was on the afternoon of
the day before yesterday. On yesterday, when I was
coming my way home from school, I did meet with
Sadie McKibben. It was nice to see her freckles
and the smiles in her eyes. She did have me to shut
my eyes, and she did lay in my hand the new blue
ribbon for Aphrodite that the man that wears gray
neckties and is kind to mice did have her to get. I
felt glad feels all over. I gave her all our thanks. I
did have knowing all my animal friends would be
glad for the remembers of the needs of Aphrodite,
for a blue ribbon.
I did have beginnings of hurry feels to go to the
pig-pen. I have thinks Sadie McKibben saw the
hurrys in my eyes. She said she would like to go
hurrys to the pig-pen too, but she was on her way
to the house of Mrs. Limberger. She did kiss me
good-bye two on the cheeks and one on the nose.
26 THE STORY OF OPAL
I run a quick run to the pig-pen to show it to
Aphrodite. I gave her little pats on the nose and
long rubs on the ears, and I did tell her all about
it. I did hold it close to her eyes so she could have
well seeing of its beautiful blues like the blues of
the sky. She did grunt thank grunts, and she had
wants to go for a walk right away. I did make in-
vest tag ashuns where there used to be a weak
place in the pig-pen. It was not any more. I did
look close looks at it. I made pulls, but nothing
made little slips. Before it was not like that.
I have thinks that chore boy is giving too much at
ten chuns to the fence of this pig-pen that Aphro-
dite has living in all of the time I am not taking her
on walks. I did feel some sad feels when I could not
take her walking down the lane with her nice new
blue ribbon on. While I did feel the sad feels so, I
did carry bracken ferns to make her a nice bed.
It brought her feels of where we were going for
walks where the bracken ferns grew.
When I did have her a nice bed of bracken fern
and some more all about her, I went goes to get the
other folks. Back with me came Brave Horatius
and Lars Porsena of Clusium and Thomas Chat-
terton Jupiter Zeus and Lucian Horace Ovid Vir-
gil and Felix Mendelssohn and Louis II, le Grand
Conde. When we were all come, I did climb into
the pig-pen and I did tie on Aphrodite's new ribbon
so they all might have seeing of its blues like the
sky. I sang a little thank song, and we had prayers,
THE STORY OF OPAL 27
and I gave Aphrodite little scratches on the back
with a little stick, like she does so like to have me
do. That was to make up for her not getting to go
for a walk where the bracken ferns grow.
Now teacher is looking very straight looks at
me. She says, "Opal, put that away." I so do.
To-day it is I do sit here at my desk while the
children are out for play for recess-time. I sit here
and I do print. I cannot have goings to talk with
the trees that I do mostly have talks with at recess-
time. I cannot have goings down to the riviere
across the road, like I do so go sometimes at recess-
time. I sit here in my seat. Teacher says I must
stay in all this whole recess-time.
It was after some of our reading lessons this
morning it was then teacher did ask questions of
all the school. First she asked Jimmy eight things
at once. She did ask him what is a horse and a
donkey and a squirrel and a engine and a road and
a snake and a store and a rat. And he did tell her
all. He did tell her in his way. They she asked Big
Jud some things, and he got up in a slow way and
said, "I don't know," like he most always does,
and he sat down. Then she asked Lola some
things, and Lola did tell her all in one breath. And
teacher marked her a good mark in the book and
she gave Lola a smile. And Lola gave her nice red
hair a smooth back and smiled a smile back at
28 THE STORY OF OPAL
Then it was teacher did call my name. I stood up
real quick. I did have thinks it would be nice to get
a smile from her like the smile she did smile upon
Lola. And teacher did ask me eight things at once.
She did ask me what is a pig and a mouse and a
baby deer and a duck and a turkey and a fish and
a colt and a blackbird. And I did say in a real
quick way, "A pig is a cochon and a mouse is a mu-
lot and a baby deer is a daine and a duck is a canard
and a turkey is a dindon and a fish is a poisson
and a colt is a poulain and a blackbird is a merle."
And after each one I did say, teacher did shake her
head and say, "It is not"; and I did say, "It is."
When I was all through, she did say, "You have
them all wrong. You have not told what they are.
They are not what you said they are." And when
she said that I did just say, "They are they are
Teacher said, "Opal, you sit down." I so did.
But when I sat down I said, "A pig is a cochon
a mouse is a mulot a baby deer is a daine a
duck is a canard a turkey is a dindon a fish is
a poisson a colt is a poulain a blackbird is a
merle." Teacher says, "Opal, for that you are
going to stay in next recess and both recess-times
to-morrow and the next day and the next day."
Then she did look a look at all the school, and she
did say as how my not getting to go out for recess-
times would be an egg sam pull for all the other
children in our school.
THE STORY OF OPAL 29
They are out at play. It is a most long recess, but
I do know a pig is a cochon, and a mouse is a mulot
and a baby deer is a daine and a duck is a canard
and a turkey is a dindon and a fish is a poisson
and a colt is a poulain and a blackbird is a merle.
So I do know, for Angel Father always did call
them so. He knows. He knows what things are.
But no one hereabouts does call things by the
names Angel Father did. Sometimes I do have
thinks this world is a different world to live in. I
do have lonesome feels.
This is a most long recess. While here I do sit I
do hear the talkings of the more big girls outside
the window most near unto my desk. The children
are playing Black Man and the ones more little are
playing tag. I have thinks as how nice it would be
to be having talks with Good King Edward I and
lovely Queen Eleanor of Castile and Peter Paul
Rubens and Brave Horatius and Lars Porsena of
Clusium and Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus and
Aphrodite. And I do think this is a most long
I still do have hearings of the talkings of the
girls outside the windows. The more old girls are
talking what they want. Martha says she wants a
bow. I don't have seeings why she wants another
one. Both her braids were tied back this morning-
time with a new bow, and its color was the color
of the blossoms of camarine. Lola says she wants
a white silk dress. She says her life will be complete
30 THE STORY OF OPAL
when she does have on a white silk dress a white
silk dress with a little ruffle around the neck and
one around each sleeve. She says she will be a
great lady then; and she says all the children will
gather around her and sing when she has her white
silk dress on. And while they sing and while she
does have her white silk dress on, she will stand up
and stretch out her arms and bestow her blessing on
all the people like the deacon does in the church at
the mill town.
Now teacher is come to the door. She does say,
"Opal, you may eat your lunch at your desk."
I did have hungry feels and all this is noon-time
instead of short recess-time. It so has been a long
recess-time. I did have thinks when came noon-
time of all the things I would do down by the
Now I do gather seeds along the road and in the
field. I lay in rows side by side the seeds I gather.
With them I do play comparer. I look near looks at
them. I do so to see how they look not like one
another. Some are big and some are not so. And
some are more large than others are large. And
some do have wrinkles on them. And some have
little wings and some do have silken sails. Many
so of all I did see on my way coming home from
school on this eventime, and too I did see four gray
squirrels and two chipmunks; and when I was come
near the meeting of the roads I saw a tramper
THE STORY OF OPAL 31
coming down the railroad track where the dinky
engine comes with cars of lumbers from the upper
This tramper he did have a big roll on his
back and he walked steps on the ties in a slow tired
way. When I was come more near to the track, I
did have thinks he might have hungry feels. Most
trampers do. While I was having thinks about it,
I took the lid off my dinner-pail. There was just a
half a piece of bread and butter left. I was saving
that. I was saving it to make divides between
Peter Paul Rubens and Aphrodite and Felix Men-
delssohn and Louis II, le Grand Conde, and the
rest of us. I did look looks from that piece of bread
and butter in the dinner-pail to the tramper going
down the railroad track. I did have little feels of
the big hungry feels he might be having. I ran a
quick run to catch up with him.
He was glad for it. He ate it in two bites, and I
came a quick way to our lane. I went along it. I
made a stop by a hazel bush. I did stop to watch a
caterpillar making his cradle. He did not move
about while he did make it. He did roll himself up
in a leaf. That almost hid him. He did weave white
silk about him. I think it must be an interesting
life to live a caterpillar life. Some days I do think I
would like to be a caterpillar and by-and-by make
a silk cradle. The silk a caterpillar makes its cradle
from does come from its mouth. I have seen it so.
But not so have I seen come the silk the spider does
32 THE STORY OF OPAL
make its web of. This silk does come from the back
part of the back of the spider.
When I was come to the house we live in, I did
do the works the mamma did have for me to do.
Then I made begins to fill the wood-box. When I
did have ten sticks piled on its top, I looked to the
door where the mamma was talking with Elsie. I
did have sorry feels for the mamma. I heard her
say she lost ten minutes. I did have wants to help
her find them. I looked looks under the cupboard,
and they were not there. I looked looks in the
cook-table drawers, and they were not there. I
looked looks into every machine-that-sews drawer,
and I did n't find them. I crawled under the bed,
but I had no seeing of them. Then I did look looks
in all the corners of the house that we do live in.
I looked looks all about. But I did n't find them.
I have wonders where those ten minutes the
mamma lost are gone. While I did look more
looks about for them, she did say for me to get out
of her way. I so did.
I went to look for the fairies. I went to the near
woods. I hid behind the trees and made little runs
to big logs. I walked along the logs and I went
among the ferns. I did tiptoe among the ferns. I
looked looks about. I did touch fern-fronds and I
did have feels of their gentle movements. I came
to a big root. I hid in it. I so did to wait waits for
the fairies that come among the big trees.
While I did wait waits, I did have thinks about
THE STORY OF OPAL 33
that letter I did write on the other day for more
color pencils that I do have needs of to print with.
I thought I would go to the moss-box by the old
log. I thought I would have goes there to see if the
faires yet did find my letter. I went. The letter
it was gone. Then I did have joy feels all over.
The color pencils they were come. There was a
blue one and a green one and a yellow one. And
there was a purple one and a brown one and a red
one. I did look looks at them a long time. It was so
nice, the quick way the fairies did bring them.
While I was looking more looks at them, some
one did come near the old root. It was my dear
friend Peter Paul Rubens. I gave him four pats
and I showed him all the color pencils. Then I did
make a start to go to the mill by the far woods.
Peter Paul Rubens went with me and Brave
Horatius came a-following after. All the way along
I did feel glad feels, and I had thinks how happy
the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to
mice would be when he did see how quick the fairies
did answer my letter and bring the color pencils.
When we were come near the mill by the far
woods, it was near gray-light-time. The lumber
men were on their home way. They did whistle as
they did go. Two went side by side, and three came
after. And one came after all. It was the man that
wears gray neckties and is kind to mice. Brave
Horatius made a quick run to meet him, and I did
follow after. I did have him guess what it was the
34 THE STORY OF OPAL
fairies did bring this time. He guessed a sugar-
lump for William Shakespeare every day next week.
I told him it was n't a right guess. He guessed
some more. But he could n't guess right, so I
showed them all to him.
He was so surprised. He said he was so surprised
the fairies did bring them this soon. And he was so
glad about it. He always is. He and I we do have
knows the fairies walk often in these woods, and
when I do have needs of more color pencils to make
more prints with, I do write the fairies about it. I
write to them a little letter on leaves of trees and I
do put it in the moss-box at the end of the old log.
Then, after they do come walking in the woods and
find the letter in the moss-box, they do bring the
color pencils, and they lay them in the moss-box.
I find them there and I am happy.
No one does have knowing of that moss-box but
one. He is the man that wears gray neckties and is
kind to mice. He has knowings of the letters I do
print on leaves and put there for the fairies. And
after he does ask me, and after I do tell him I have
wrote to them for color pencils that I have needs
of he does take a little fern plant and make a
fern wish with it that the fairies will bring to me
the color pencils I have needs of. Then we do plant
the little fern by the old log. And the time is not
long until I do find the color pencils in the moss-
box by the old log. I am very happy.
Opal Gives Wisdom to the Potatoes, Cleanliness to the Family
Clothes, and a Delicate Dinner to Thomas Chatterton Jupiter
TO-DAY the grandpa dug potatoes in the field.
Too, the chore boy did dig potatoes in the field.
I followed along after. My work was to pick up the
potatoes they got out of the ground. I picked them
up and piled them in piles. Some of them were very
plump. Some of them were not big. All of them
wore brown dresses. When they were in piles, I did
stop to take looks at them. I walked up close. I
looked them all over. I walked off and took a long
look at them. Potatoes are very interesting folks.
I think they must see a lot of what is going on in
the earth; they have so many eyes. And after I did
look those looks as I did go along, I did count the
eyes that every potato did have, and their num-
bers were in blessings.
To some piles I did stop to give geology lectures,
and some I did tell about the nursery and the cater-
pillars in it the caterpillars that are going to
hiver sleep in silken cradles, and some in woolen so
go. To more potatoes I did tell about my hospital
at St.-Germain-en-Laye in the near woods, and
all about the folks that were in it and that are in it,
36 THE STORY OF OPAL
and how much prayers and songs and mentholatum
helps them to have well feels.
And to some other potatoes I did talk about
my friends about the talks that William Shake-
speare and I do have together; and about how Lars
Porsena of Clusium does have a fondness for col-
lecting things, and how he does hide them in the
oak tree near unto the house we live in; and about
Elizabeth Barrett Browning and the poetry in her
tracks. And one I did tell about the new ribbon
Aphrodite has to wear, and how she does have a
fondness for chocolate creams. To the potato most
near unto it I did tell of the little bell that Peter
Paul Rubens does wear to cathedral service. To
the one next to it I did tell how Louis II, le Grand
Conde, is a mouse of gentle ways, and how he does
have likings to ride in my sleeve.
And all the times I was picking up potatoes I did
have conversations with them. Too, I did have
thinks of all their growing days there in the ground,
and all the things they did hear. Earth-voices are
glad voices, and earth-songs come up from the
ground through the plants; and in their flowering
and in the days before these days are come, they do
tell the earth-songs to the wind. And the wind in
her goings does whisper them to folks to print for
other folks. So other folks do have knowing of
earth's songs. When I grow up I am going to write
for children and grown-ups that have n't grown
up too much all the earth-songs I now do hear.
THE STORY OF OPAL 37
I have thinks these potatoes growing here did
have knowings of star-songs. I have kept watch in
the field at night and I have seen the stars look
kindness down upon them. And I have walked be-
tween the rows of potatoes, and I have watched the
star-gleams on their leaves. And I have heard the
wind ask of them the star-songs the star-gleams
did tell in shadows on their leaves. And as the
wind did go walking in the field talking to the
earth-voices there, I did follow her down the rows.
I did have feels of her presence near. And her
goings by made ripples on my nightgown. Thomas
Chatterton Jupiter Zeus did cuddle more close up
in my arms. And Brave Horatius followed after.
Sometimes, when a time long it is I have been
walking and listening to the voices of the night,
then it is Brave Horatius does catch the corner of
my nightgown in his mouth and he pulls he pulls
most hard in the way that does go to the house we
live in. After he does pull, he barks the barks he
always does bark when he has thinks it is home-
going time. I listen. Sometimes I go back. He
goes with me. Sometimes I go on. He goes with
me. And often it is he is here come with me to this
field where the potatoes grow. And he knows most
all the poetry I have told them.
On the afternoon of to-day, when I did have a
goodly number of potatoes in piles, I did have
thinks as how this was the going-away day of Saint
Francois of Assisi and the borning day of Jean
3 8 THE STORY OF OPAL
Francois Millet; so I did take as many potatoes
as they years did dwell upon earth. Forty-four
potatoes I so took for Saint Francois of Assisi, for
his years were near unto forty-four. Sixty potatoes
I so took for Jean Francois Millet, for his years
were sixty years. All these potatoes I did lay in
two rows. In one row was forty-four and in the
other row was sixty.
And as I had seeing of them all there, I did have
thinks to have a choir. First I did sing, "Sanctus,
sanctus, sanctus, Dominus Deus." After I did sing
it three times, I did have thinks as how it would be
nice to have more in the choir. And I did have
remembers as how to-morrow is the going-away
day of Philippe III, roi de France; and so for the
forty years that were his years I did bring forty
more potatoes in a row. That made more in the
choir. Then I did sing three times over, "Gloria
Patri, et Filio, et Spiritu Sancto. Hosanna in
excelsis." Before I did get all through the last time
with Hosanna in excelsis, I did have thinks as how
the next day after that day would be the borning
day of Louis Philippe, roi de France, and the going-
away day of Alfred Tennyson. And I did bring
more potatoes for the choir. Seventy-six I did so
bring for the years that were the years of Louis
Philippe, roi de France. Eighty-three I so did
bring for the years that were the years of Alfred
Tennyson. And the choir there was a goodly
number of folks in it all potato folks wearing
brown robes. Then I did sing one " Ave Maria."
THE STORY OF OPAL 39
I was going to sing one more, when I did have
thinks as how the next day after the next day after
the next day would be the going-away day of Sir
Philip Sidney; so I did bring thirty-one more pota-
toes for the choir. It did take a more long time to
bring them, because all the potatoes near about
were already in the choir. Brave Horatius did
walk by my side, and he did have seeing as how I
was bringing potatoes to the choir. And so he did
bring some one at a time he did pick them up
and bring them, just like he does pick up a stick of
wood in his mouth when I am carrying in wood.
He is a most helpful dog. To-day I did have needs
to keep watches. I did so have needs to see that
he put not more potatoes in the other choir-rows.
First time he did bring a potato, he did lay it down
by the choir-row of Alfred Tennyson. Next potato
he did bring he did lay it by the choir-row of Jean
Francois Millet. Next time I made a quick run
when I did have seeing of him going to lay it down
by the choir-row of Philippe III, roi de France. I
did pat my foot and tell him where to lay it for the
choir-row of Sir Philip Sidney. He so did. We did
go for more.
When there were thirty-one potatoes in the
choir-row of Sir Philip Sidney, we did start service
again. I did begin with "Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus,
Dominus Deus." And Brave Horatius did bark
Amen. Then I did begin all over, and he did so
again. After we had prayers, I did sing one more
40 THE STORY OF OPAL
"Ave Maria." Then I did begin to sing "Deo
Gratias, Hosanna in excelsis," but I came not
unto its ending. Brave Horatius did bark Amen
before I was half done. I just went on. He walked
in front of me and did bark Amen three times.
I was just going to sing the all of it. I did not so.
I so did not because the chore boy did have steps
behind me. He gave me three shoulder-shakes,
and he did tell me to get a hurry on me and get
those potatoes picked up. I so did. I so did in a
most quick way. The time it did take to pick them
up it was not a long time. And after that there
was more potatoes to pick up. Brave Horatius did
follow after. He gave helps. He did lay the pota-
toes he did pick up on the piles I did pick up. He is
a most good dog. When near gray-light-time was
come, the chore boy went from the field. When
most-dark-time was come Brave Horatius and I so
went. When we were come to the house we live in,
the folks was gone to visit at the house of Elsie. I
did take my bowl of bread and milk, and I did eat
it on the back steps. Brave Horatius ate his supper
near me. He did eat his all long before I did mine.
So I did give him some of mine. Then we watched
the stars come out.
I did not have goings to school to-day, for this is
wash-day and the mamma did have needs of me at
home. There was baby clothes to wash. The mamma
does say that is my work, and I do try to do it in
THE STORY OF OPAL 41
the proper way she does say it ought to be done.
It does take quite a long time, and all the-time it is
taking I do have longings to go on exploration
trips. And I do want to go talk with William
Shakespeare there where he is pulling logs in the
near woods. And I do want to go talk with Eliza-
beth Barrett Browning in the pasture, and with
Peter Paul Rubens and Aphrodite in the pig-pens.
All the time it does take to wash the clothes of the
baby it is a long time. And I do stop at in-
between times to listen to the voices. They are
always talking. And the brook that does go by our
house is always bringing songs from the hills.
When the clothes of the baby were most white, I
did bring them again to the wash-bench that does
set on the porch that does go out from our back
door. Then there was the chickens to feed, and the
stockings were to rub. Stockings do have needs of
many rubs. That makes them clean. While I did
do the rubs, I did sing little songs to the grasses
that grow about our door. After the stockings did
have many rubs, the baby it was to tend. I did
sing it songs of songs Angel Mother did sing to me.
And sleeps came upon the baby. But she is a baby
that does have wake-ups between times. To-day
she had a goodly number.
By-and-by, when the washing was part done,
then the mamma went away to the grandma's
house to get some soap. When she went away she
did say she wished she did n't have to bother with
42 THE STORY OF OPAL
carrying water to scrub the floor. She does n't.
While she has been gone a good while, I have plenty
of water on the floor for her to mop it when she gets
back. When she did go away, she said to me to
wring the clothes out of the wash. There were a lot
of clothes in the wash skirts and aprons and
shirts and dresses and clothes that you wear under
dresses. Every bit of clothes I took out of the tubs
I carried into the kitchen and squeezed all the
water out on the kitchen floor. That makes lots of
water everywhere under the cook-table and
under the cupboard and under the stove. Why,
there is most enough water to mop the three floors,
and then some water would be left over. I did feel
glad feels because it was so as the mamma did
While I did wait for her coming, I did make
prints and mind the baby. When the mamma was
come, she did look not glad looks at the water on
the floor. She did only look looks for the switches
over the kitchen window. After I did have many
sore feels, she put me out the door to stay out. I
did have sorry feels for her. I did so try hard to
When a little way I was gone from the door, I did
look looks about. I saw brown leaves and brown
birds. Brown leaves were erable leaves and chene
leaves, and the brown birds were wrens. And all
their ways were hurry ways. I did turn about and
I did go in a hurry way to a root in the near woods.
THE STORY OF OPAL 43
I so went to get my little candle. Then I did go to
the Jardin des Tuileries. Often it is I do go there
near unto the near woods. Many days after I was
here come, I did go ways to look for Jardin des
Tuileries. I found it not. Sadie McKibben did say
there is none such here. Then being needs for it and
it being not, I did have it so. And in it I have put
statues of hiver and all the others, and here I do
plant plants and little trees. And every little tree
that I did plant it was for someone that was. And
on their borning days I do hold services by the
trees I have so planted for them.
To-day I did go in quick steps to the tree I have
planted for Louis Philippe, roi de France, for this is
the day of his borning in 1773. I did have prayers.
Then I did light my little candle. Seventy-six big
candles Angel Father did so light for him, but so
I cannot do, for only one little candle I have. It
did burn in a bright way. Then I did sing "Deo
Gratias." I so did sing for the borning day of Louis
Philippe, roi de France. Then I did sing "Sanctus,
sanctus, sanctus, Dominus Deus."
Afterwards I did have thinks about Thomas
Chatterton Jupiter Zeus about his nose, its feels.
I so went in the way that does go to the hospital.
That dear pet rat's nose is getting well. Some way
he got his nose too near that trap they set for rats
in the barn. Of course, when I found him that
morning I let him right out of the trap. He has a
ward all to himself in the hospital. For breakfast
44 THE STORY OF OPAL
he has some of my oatmeal. For dinner he has some
of my dinner. And for supper I carry to him corn
in a jar lid. Sadie McKibben, who has on her face
many freckles and a kind heart, gives me enough
mentholatum to put on his nose seven times a day.
And he is growing better. And to-day when I was
come to the hospital, I took him in my arms. He
did cuddle up.
Too, he gave his cheese squeak. That made me
have lonesome feels. I can't carry cheese to him
any more out of the house we live in. I can't be-
cause, when the mamma learned that I was carry-
ing cheese to Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus, she
said to me while she did apply a kindling to the back
part of me : ' Don't you dare carry any more cheese
out to that rat." And since then I do not carry
cheese out to Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus, but
I do carry him into the kitchen to the cheese. I let
him sniff long sniffs at it. Then I push his nose
back and I cut from the big piece of cheese delicate
slices for Thomas Ghatterton Jupiter Zeus. This I
do when the mamma is n't at home.
To-day, she being come again to the house we
live in, I could not have goings there for Thomas
Chatterton Jupiter Zeus to the cheese. I did go the
way that goes to the house of Sadie McKibben. I
did go that way so she might have knowings of the
nose-improvements of Thomas Chatterton Jupiter
Zeus. When I was most come here he did squeak
more of his cheese squeaks. It was most hard
THE STORY OF OPAL 45
having hearing of him and not having cheese for
him. I could hardly keep from crying. He is a
most lovely wood-rat, and all his ways are ways of
gentleness. And he is just like the mamma's baby
when he squeaks he does have expects to get
what he squeaks for. I did cuddle him up more
close in my arms. And he had not squeaks again
for some little time. It was when I was talking to
Sadie McKibben about the chateau of Neuilly that
I do have most part done it was then he did give
his squeaks. He began and went on and did con-
tinue so. I just could n't keep from crying. His
cheese longings are like my longings for Angel
Mother and Angel Father. He did just crawl up
and put his nose against my curls. I did stand first
on one foot and then on the other. The things I was
going to say did go in a swallow down my throat.
Sadie McKibben did wipe her hands on her blue
gingham apron with cross stitches on it. She did
have askings what was the matter with Thomas
Chatterton Jupiter Zeus. And I just said, "O
Sadie McKibben, it's his cheese squeak." And she
said not a word, but she did go in a quick way to
her kitchen. She brought back a piece of cheese.
It was n't a little piece. It was a great big piece.
There's enough in it for four breakfasts and six
dinners. When Sadie McKibben did give it to me
for him, she did smooth back my curls and she did
give me three kisses one on each cheek and one
on the nose. She smiled her smile upon us, and we
46 THE STORY OF OPAL
.re ::_ s: dA?T;\ .-.:.d vre did r: :r:rd her h:use
i r 7 ~ . . e ri'dness ~ L_~ id .-.*"d ~~e r r -;c ~ ~ V: d - e
. _ . _ _ _^ _.,.,., -'^._* -L______,^ V^ , _x _
The Adventure of the Tram per; and u-hai Happens on Long
: :i on Short DC
TO-DAY was a fall-time-is-here day. I heard the
men say so that were talking at the meeting of the
roads. From the meeting of the roads I did huny
on. I so did in a quick way becau-:. when I was
come to the meeting of the roads, I did have remem-
bers as how the mamma did say at morning-time
there was much work to be done before eventime.
When I was come to the house we live in, the
mamma and the little girl and the baby th
were all gone to the house of Elsie. I made a start
at the works. I did feed the chickens, and ther-:-
was much wood to bring in. and baby clothes to
wash, and ashes to empty from the stove. These
four things I did. I looked looks about to see what
other works did have needs to be done. I had
remembers that when the papa went away to work
this morning he said he did not have time to cut
the ham before he went. I have knows if he is too
busy in the morning to get a thing done, it mostly
don't get done when he comes home from work at
night. It S3 dies not, because he has so tired feels.
To-day I had thinks the time was come wher. I
better help about that ham. I went out to the wood-
48 THE STORY OF OPAL
shed. I went not out to get wood. I went out to
the wood-shed to 'tend to that ham. I had thinks
I better make an early start or that ham wouldn't
be cut up by evening. I piled wood high enough so I
could stand on tiptoes and reach to the flour-sack
the ham was tied in. But I could not get that sack
down. I pulled and pulled, but it would n't come
down. I did n't have knows what I was going to
do. Pretty soon, by having concentration of my
thinks, I thought of a way. I got the scissors and
cut the bottom out of that sack. That ham came
down right quick. It landed on its back on the
woodpile. My foot slipped and I landed on top of it.
I got up and dragged it up on the chopping-
block. Then I got the butcher knife from its place
in the cook-table drawer. I went to work. That
knife did n't seem to make moves like the moves it
does make when it is in the hands of the papa. I
tried to make it go down in a quick way. It went
not so. I looked close looks at it. Its appears did
have looks like it did have needs of a sharp penny-
ing. I have seen the papa sharp pen it on the grind-
stone by the singing brook. So did I. I poured a
goodly amount of water on that stone wheel. Most
of the water splashed off. The rest did trickle away.
Then I did hold that knife to the stone wheel. And
I did make tries to turn it in a quick way like I have
seen the papa do. But I could not make that wheel
go in quick turns. It would not so go. I made big
tries for a long time.
THE STORY OF OPAL 49
When I had thinks the knife did look some bet-
ter, I did go again to my work. I walked three
times around that ham there on the chopping-
block. I so did to take looks at it to see where I
better make begins. I did have thinks in under its
outside where it is most big would be the proper
place. I made begins. I did make the knife to go a
little way. Then I made a stop to rest. Then I
made the knife go some more. I made another
stop to rest. I went on. Pretty soon a slice of ham
landed. It fell off the chopping-block onto a stick
of wood. I picked it up. I held it up to take a look
at it. My, I did feel such proud feels from my toes
to my curls. I had it cut in such a nice way. It
had frills around it and holes in between just
like Elsie's crochet doily that she keeps on her best
stand-table. I have knows the papa never did cut
a slice of ham that way. The slices of ham he cuts
they never do have frilly looks with holes in
between. After I did hang that slice of ham on a
nail by the door, I did cut another slice. It was not
so wide but it had more longness and some strings
on it like the little short strings on the nightcap of
Jenny Strong. I had not decides yet where to hang
it. It was when I was having thinks about it it
was then I did hear a heavy step.
I turned me all about, and there was a tramper
by the wood-shed door. He had not gentle looks
like some trampers have. His beard did grow in
the hobo way. And his appears did look like he
50 THE STORY OF OPAL
knew not knowings of neatness. He stood there
looking looks at that ham. He kept his looks on it,
and he did walk right into the wood-shed. He had
asking if the mamma was at home. I said, "No,
she is not. She is at the house of Elsie." Then he
says, " I guess I '11 take this ham along with me."
I almost lost my breathings, because I did have
remembers of all the days the papa has plans to
have that ham for breakfast and dinner and supper.
So I just sat down on the chopping-block. I sat on
the ham and I spread my blue calicoe apron out
over it. I put my hand on its handle that it hangs
in the wood-shed by. Me and my apron covered
that ham so he could n't have seeing of it. And
while I sat on the ham, I did pray God to keep it
safe for the breakfasts and dinners and suppers of
the papa and the mamma.
The tramper looked queer looks at me. He came
a little more near. I did pray on. And God in his
goodness sent answers to my prayer in a quick way.
Brave Horatius came on a run from somewhere.
He made a stop at the wood-shed door. He looked
a look in. He gave a growl. Then he went at that
tramper. He did grab him by his ragged pants. I
have thinks may be his teeth did touch the ankle of
the tramper, because he gave a little pain squeal
and shook his leg. Then he did go in a hurry away.
Brave Horatius followed after.
I was just going to start work again on that ham,
when the mamma was come home from her visit.
THE STORY OF OPAL 51
She did soon give me a whipping and put me here
under the bed. Now I have wonders what that
whipping was for. I did feed the chickens and
carry in the wood and do the baby's washing and
empty the ashes. And more I did beside I cut
two slices of ham with frills on them.
Now I have thinks about trampers how they
do differ. Many of them follow the railroad track.
They make goes to the upper camps beyond the
riviere. They do carry a roll on their backs. They
so carry their blankets. They go that way and
some of them come down the track very soon again.
Some stay nowhere long.
Some of the trampers that go the way that goes
to the upper camps do have stops when they go by
here. They stop to get a bite to eat. And some
come to the front door, and some do come to the
back door. They knock on the door. Some rap
their knuckles hard and some tap in a gentle way.
There was one who so did one week ago. Sleeps
was just come upon the baby after I did sing it " Le
chanson de Saint Firmin," and I did go to the door
to see who it was. The man that it was, he said he
was on his way to get work at the upper camps.
He was a man with a clean sad face and a kind look
in his eyes. And the roll upon his back was a heavy
roll. I straightway did go and get my bowl of bread
and milk that I was going to have for dinner. I
gave it to him. He ate it in a hungry way, like
Brave Horatius does eat his supper when we are
52 THE STORY OF OPAL
come back from a long explore trip. Then, when
the man did eat all the bread and milk, he did split
some wood out in the woodshed. He did pile it up
in a nice way. Then he went. He went on to the
upper camps. When he did go he said, "The Lord's
blessing be with you, child." I said, "It is." And
I did tell him, "We have a cathedral in the woods
and this eventime, when we have prayers there,
we will pray that you may get work at the upper
camps." And at coming of eventime we did. And
Peter Paul Rubens did grunt Amen at in-between
times. Now every day we do pray for the man that
was hungry and had a kind look in his eyes.
Some days are long. Some days are short. The
days that I have to stay in the house are the most
long days of all. In the morningtime of now, I had
thinks to go on explores. I was going to Saint
Firmin and adown the Nonette. I was going to
listen to its singings. And Peter Paul Rubens and
Brave Horatius and Lars Porsena of Clusium and
Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus we were all
going together. When I did have the wood in the
wood-box, the mamma hollered at me. She said
when she got back from Elsie's she was going to
make me stay in the house all the rest of the day.
While she was gone to the house of Elsie, I did
make prepares. I took all the safety-pins out of
the machine drawer. I took all the patch-pieces
out of the mamma's work-basket. I made patches
THE STORY OF OPAL 53
all over my underskirt except where I do sit down.
I put Louis II, le Grand Conde, in one of the pock-
ets I did so make. I put Lucian Horace Ovid
Virgil in another one. In one more pocket I put
Felix Mendelssohn. He peeked out. Then he set-
tled down. He so does like to take naps in the pock-
ets I pin on my underskirts. I put Nannerl Mozart
in another pocket. Then, when the mamma was
come, I did walk into the house in a quiet way.
Before she did go she told me do's to do while
she was gone. She told me to keep the fire going
and to tend the baby to fix its bottle for it and
to mind it all the time. Then she shut the door and
locked it and went in the way that does go to the
house of the grandma by the meeting of the roads.
I did watch her out the window. Then I did put
some more wood in the fire. After that I did look
looks about. There are no rows and rows and rows
of books in this house, like Angel Mother and Angel
Father had. There is only three books here. One
is a cook-book and one is a doctor-book and one is
a almanac. They all are on top of the cupboard
most against the top of the house. They have not
interest names on their backs. The alarm-clock
does set on the shelf where it always sets all day
long. At night-time it sets on a chair by the bed
that the mamma and the papa sleep in. It sets on
the chair all night with its alarm set. It is so the
papa will be made awake early in the morning.
That clock has interest looks. Some day when
54 THE STORY OF OPAL
there is not a fire in the stove, I have thinks I will
take that clock apart to see what its looks are in-
side. On a day when there is no fire in the stove, L
will climb upon it. I can reach that shelf when I
stand on tiptoe on top of the stove.
After I did look looks at the clock, I did look
looks out the front window. There are calf-tracks
by our front door. These tracks are there because
when I went walking with Elizabeth Barrett Brown-
ing on yesterday, I had her wait at the front step
while I did go into the kitchen to get her some
sugar-lumps. She has a fondness for sweet things.
I think she will grow up to be a lovely cow. Her
mooings now are very musical, and there is poetry
in her tracks. She does make such dainty ones.
When they dry up in the lane, I dig up her tracks,
and I save them. There is much poetry in them;
and when I take her track out that I keep in the
back part of the cook-table drawer, I look at it and
think, this way passed Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
After I did look looks out the front window, I did
look looks out the back window. William Shake-
speare and the others they were pulling in logs.
That Rob Ryder was trying to make them go more
fast. All the horses do have to pull so hard when
they pull logs in. Sometimes they look tired looks,
and when they are come in from work I go to the
barn. I rub their heads; for when the mamma is
tired she does like rubs on her head.
How Opal Takes a Walk in the Forest of Chantilly; she Visits
Elsie and her Baby Boy, and Explains Many Things to
the Girl that Has no Seeing.
WHILE I did watch the horses, the baby had
wake-ups. I went to sing her to sleep. I sang her
about William Wordsworth. When sleeps was
come upon the baby I had remembers when she
went away the mamma wished she did have some
varnish to shine up the furniture with. So while
she is gone I have given the furniture a shine-up
with vaseline. Vaseline gives just as bright a
shine as varnish does. I have aunt tis a pay shuns
the mamma will be pleased when her arrives come
When the furniture was all fixed proper, I looked
a look out the window. Raindrops were beginning
to come down from the sky. Their coming was in a
gentle way. I had longs to be out with them. I so
do like to feel the raindrops patter on my head and
I like to run runs and hold out my hands to meet
them. There was more rain and there was sun-
shine. There came across the sky the arc-en-ciel.
Then was its going, and grayness after. I watched
the raindrops in the brook going on and on. When
I grow up I am going to write a book about a rain-
56 THE STORY OF OPAL
While I did watch the raindrops I had longs to
go to the foret de Chantilly and adown by Nonette.
I did have thinks more about it. I took some of the
wood out of the wood-box. I stood it up for trees.
I called them all foret de Chantilly. We went a
walk between them Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil
and I did. Then I took the dipper full of water and
I let it pour in little pours a riviere on the kitchen
floor. That was for Nonette. Then all of us went a
walk by Nonette. We went in little steps to make
the time go longer. Felix Mendelssohn perched on
my shoulder. Louis II, le Grand Conde, did ride
in my hands, and Nannerl Mozart in my apron
pocket. I took some more water and the dipper and
I made it go a little riviere to join Nonette. Then
we went a walk by Lounette. And more I did
pour in little pours to join Nonette. That was for
After we did have walks all in between the foret
de Chantilly, I took more sticks from the wood-
box back of the stove and I made another foret.
Then we went walking in the foret d'Ermenonville.
When we were come back from that walk, I made
some lions out of cheese. Two I made. I made them
to put in foret de Chantilly at the begins of route
du Connetable. Then we went a walk again in
foret de Chantilly. I had to have carefuls not to go
a step too big, because I did stand the sticks of
wood near unto one another, and if I took a big
step they might have falls over.
THE STORY OF OPAL 57
While I was standing up more sticks of woods for
more trees in foret de Chantilly, the baby did have
wake-ups. I went to sing it to sleep. I sang it
about Good King Edward I. When I went again
into the kitchen, there was Louis II, le Grand
Conde, and Felix Mendelssohn and Nannerl Mo-
zart all in the foret de Chantilly. They were at the
begins of the route du Connetable. They were
nibbling nibbles at the two lions there of cheese.
Already they did have ragged noses, where all of
the three mouses did nibble nibbles. I have thinks
I will have to make lions of stone for the begins
of route du Connetable. The baby had wakes-up
again. I did sing it to sleep with chant d' automne.
Now I sit here and I print. The baby sleeps on.
The wind comes creeping in under the door. It
calls, "Come, come, petite Francoise, come." It
calls to me to come go exploring. It sings of the
things that are to be found under leaves. It whis-
pers the dreams of the tall fir trees. It does pipe
the gentle song the forest sings on gray days. I hear
all the voices calling me. I listen but I cannot
Now are come the days of brown leaves. They
fall from the trees. They flutter on the ground.
When the brown leaves flutter, they are saying
little things. They talk with the wind. I hear them
tell of their borning days when they did come into
the world as leaves. And they whisper of the hoods
5 8 THE STORY OF OPAL
they wore then. I saw them. I use to count them
on the way to school. To-day they were talking of
the time before their horning days of this spring-
time. They talked on and on, and I did listen on
to what they were telling the wind and the earth
in their whisperings. They told how they were a
part of earth and air before their tree-borning days.
And now they are going back. In gray days of
winter they go back to the earth again. But they
do not die.
And in the morning of to-day it was that I did
listen to these talkings of the brown leaves. Then
I faced about. I turned my face and all of me to the
way that leads to the house we live in, for there was
much works to be done.
When I was come to the house I went around and
I did walk in the back doorway. The mamma
was n't in. I took long looks about to see what
works I best do first. There was washed-up dishes
in a bake-pan, so I did dish-towel them all and put
them away. There was needs to climb upon a chair
and upon a box, to put those dishes where they
ought to be put. While I was up there, I took looks
about to see what there was. I saw a cake of bon
ami. Bon ami is to give things a shine-up. And
this morning I gave the knives a shine-up and the
forks too. Then I tried bon ami on the black ket-
tles and the bake-pans. It did not give unt them
such nice appears, so I gave them a shine-up with
vaseline. After that I did take the broom from its
THE STORY OF OPAL 59
place, and I gave the floor a good brooming. I
broomed the boards up and down and cross-ways.
There was not a speck of dirt on them left. What
I did sweep off with the broom, I did place into a
shoe-box lid and dust it in the stove. Then the
floor did look clean like the mamma does say it
ought to look all the time. I put the broom back in
its place where the mamma does say it ought to be.
Then I did look looks from the floor to the win-
dow. I thought I better clean the window too while
I was fixing things. Just when I started to put bon
ami on the window, I did look out to see what I
could see. I saw Agamemnon Menelaus Dindon
going in a slow walk by. He was giving his neck a
stretch-out. He gave it another one, and when he
made a swallow his throat did look appears of
croup. And croup does always have needs of being
fixed up. So I laid down the bon ami, and I went
and I did pour a whole lot of coal-oil down the
throat of Agamemnon Menelaus Dindon. That
was to make his croup go away. Now he will be
feeling well feels real soon. He did n't want to take
the coal-oil. I had to hold him tight. Some turkey
gobblers can kick most hard.
When I did have him fixed I thought I better
take looks about to see if any more folks did have
croup appears. I yet did have some coal-oil left in
the bottle. Few folks were about, and none did
have croup looks. So I did go again to the cleaning
of the window. When that was done in the proper
60 THE STORY OF OPAL
way the mamma says it ought to be done, I did
stop to eat some bread and milk, for it was after
dinner-time and it was a long time before supper-
After that I went out in the wood-shed where the
papa keeps his tools. He keeps them in a big box.-
Some days he forgets to lock the box. Those days
I have very interesting times in the wood-shed.
There are all kinds of queer-looking things in that
tool-box. Just when I did have the lid open the
mamma did call.
She was come again home, and she sent me back
to Elsie's to get the tidy she was crocheting that
she did forget and leave there. So I did go the way
that does lead to the house of Elsie. It is not far
from the house we live in, and Elsie has not been
married long. She only has one baby. She has
much liking for it. Elsie is a very young girl
a very young girl to be married, the mamma says.
To-day when I came to the house of Elsie, she was
trotting on her knee that dear baby boy the angels
brought her when she did live at the other camp
where we did live too. To him she was singing a
song. It was
This is the way the gentlemen ride,
She tossed her head as she did sing. And the joy-
light danced in her eyes.
THE STORY OF OPAL 61
I have thinks it must be wonderful happiness to
be married. I have seen the same joy-light in the
eyes of her tall young husband. It is there much
when he is come home at eventide from work in the
woods. Then she does have many kind words and
kisses for him. He has adoors for her, and too he
has a pumpadoor that he smooths back with
vaseline. Why to-day I did see he had used most
all of the vaseline out of that jar that sets on their
kitchen shelf. That vaseline jar has an interest
look. I have been watching it. And every day
when I do stand on tiptoe and take peeks at it,
there is not so much vaseline in it as there was in
it the day before. I have thinks it does take a
goodly amount to keep his pumpadoor smooth.
While I was bringing home the tidy the mamma
did leave at the house of Elsie, I met a chapine
baby. He did sail away. Erable leaves did go in
little hops, and so went I. Soon I saw a gray board.
I did turn it over. Under that old gray board were
five little silk bags. They were white and they did
feel lumps. I know baby spiders will come out of
them when comes spring days, because last year I
found bags like these, and this year in the spring
baby spiders walked out. They were very fidgety
Just when I did most have decides to take them
to the nursery, I heard the mamma calling. I put
the board back again in the way it was before I
came that way. Then I did run a quick run to the
62 THE STORY OF OPAL
house. And the mamma did send me in a hurry to
the wood-shed. It was for two loads of wood she
wanted. I did bring in the first load in a hurry.
The second load I brought not so. I did pick up
all the sticks my arms could hold. While I was
picking them up, I looked long looks at them. I
went not to the kitchen with them in a quick way.
I was meditating. I did have thinks about the
tree they all were before they got chopped up. I
did wonder how I would feel if I was a very little
piece of wood that got chopped out of a very big
tree. I did think that it would have hurt my feel-
ings. I felt of the feelings of the wood. They did
have a very sad feel.
Just when I was getting that topmost stick a bit
wet with sympathy tears then the mamma did
come up behind me with a switch. She said while
she did switch, "Stop your meditations." And
while she did switch, I did drop the wood. I felt
the feels the sticks of wood felt when they hit the
floor. Then I did pick them up with care and I put
them all in the wood-box back of the cook-stove.
I put them there because the mamma said I must
put them there. But all the time I was churning I
did hum a little song. It was a good-bye song to the
sticks in the wood-box back of the kitchen stove.
When the churning was done and the butter was
come, the mamma did lift all the little lumps of
butter out of the churn. Then she did pat them
together in a big lump, and this she put away in
THE STORY OF OPAL 63
the butter-box in the wood-shed. When she went
to lay herself down to rest on the bed, she did call
me to rub her head. I like to rub the mamma's
head, for it does help the worry lines to go away.
Often I rub her head, for it is often she does have
longings to have it so. And I do think it is very
nice to help people have what they do have long-
By-and-by, when the mamma did have sleeps
and after I did print, I did go to listen to the voices.
The wind was calling. His calling was to little wood-
folk and me. He did call more again: "Come, pe-
tite Franoise, come go explores." He was in a rush.
I raced. Brave Horatius ran. We played tag with
the wind. The wind does have many things to
tell. He does toss back one's curls so he can whisper
things in one's ears. To-day he did twice push back
my curls three times, that I might better hear what
he did have to say. He whispered little whispers
about the cradles of moths to be that hang a-swing-
ing on the bushes in the woods. I went around to
see about it. I looked looks on many bushes. Some
brown leaves were swinging from some bushes. No
cradles I found.
By-and-by I came to a log. It was a nice little
log. It was as long as three pigs as long as Peter
Paul Rubens. I climbed upon it. I so did to look
more looks about. The wind did blow in a real
quick way. He made music all around. I danced
on the log. It is so much a big amount of joy to
64 THE STORY OF OPAL
dance on a log when the wind does play the harps
in the forest. Then do I dance on tiptoe. I wave
greetings to the plant-bush folks that do dance all
about. To-day a grand pine tree did wave its arms
to me. And the bush branches patted my cheek in
a friendly way. The wind again did blow back my
curls. They clasp the fingers of the bush people
most near. I did turn around to untangle them. It
is most difficult to dance on tiptoe on a log when
one's curls are in a tangle with the branches of a
friendly bush that grows near unto the log and
does make bows to one while the wind doth blow.
When I did turn to untangle my curls, I saw a
silken cradle in a hazel branch. I have thinks that
the wind did just tangle my curls so I would have
seeing of that cradle. It was cream, with a hazel
leaf half-way round it. I put it to my ear and I did
listen. It had a little voice. It was not a tone
voice. It was a heart voice. While I did listen, I
did feel its feels. It has lovely ones. And I did
hurry away in the way that does lead to the house
of the girl that has no seeing. I went that way so
she too might know its feels and hear its heart
voice. She does so like to feel things. She has
seeing by feels. Often I do carry things to her when
I find them and she knows some of my friends.
Peter Paul Rubens has gone with me to visit
her. So has gone Felix Mendelssohn and Nannerl
Mozart the two mices with voices that squeak
mouse-songs in the night. And Plato and Pliny,
THE STORY OF OPAL 65
the two bats, and others go too. And their goings
and what she has thinks about them I have printed
here in my prints. And it is often I go the way that
does lead to her house, for the girl who has no
seeing she and I we are friends.
One day I told her about the trees talking. Then
she did want to know about the voices, and now I
do help her to hear them. And too I tell her about
comparer, that Angel Father did teach me to play,
and I show her the way. She cannot look long
looks at things, to see how they look not looks alike,
because she has no seeing. So she is learning to
play comparer by feels.
To-day, after she did feel the feels of the cream
cradle and we did play comparer, then she asked me
what the trees were saying. And I led her out
across her yard and away to the woods, and Brave
Horatius did follow after. I led her in the way
that does lead to that grand fir tree, Good King
Louis VI. And when we were come unto him, I did
touch his finger-tips to her cheeks. She liked that.
Then we did stand near unto him, and I told her
of the trees in the night, of the things they tell to
the shadows that wander through the woods. She
said she did n't think she would like to be a shadow.
And just then she stubbed her toe. She did ask
me what that was there near unto her foot. I told
her it was a mile I did build there the ville of St.
Denis. She wanted to know why I builded it there.
I told her there was needs of it, being near unto
66 THE STORY OF OPAL
Good King Louis VI, for he so loved it; so I builded
it there where his branches shelter it and his kind-
ness looks kind looks upon it. And I did tell her
about his being on his way to St. Denis when he
died. While I builded up again the corner of the
abbey, I did give explanations about how lovely
it is to be a gray shadow walking along and touch-
ing the faces of people. Shadows do have such
After that we did go on. We went on on to where
dwell Alan of Bretagne and Etienne of Blois and
Godefroi of Bouillon and Raymond of Toulouse.
To each I led the girl who has no seeing, and she
was glad to know them all. They are grand trees.
As we went our way, we did listen unto the voices.
And I took all the hairpins that was in her hair out
of it. I so did so the wind could blow it back and
whisper things into her ears. The wind does have
so much to tell of far lands and of little folks that
dwell near unto us in the fields and in the woods.
To-day near eventime I did lead the girl who has
no seeing a little way away into the forest, where it
was darkness, and shadows were. I led her toward a
shadow that was coming our way. It did touch her
cheeks with its velvety fingers. And now she too
does have likings for shadows. And her fear that
was is gone. And after that we turned about to
the way that does lead out of the forest. And so we
went and I led her again home. We did hurry a
bit. We so did because it was most time for her
THE STORY OF OPAL 67
folks to be there. Often she does say I must n't
be thereabout when her folks are thereabout. I
At the steps of the door that does go into her
house she did tell me good-bye. When she so did,
she kissed me on each cheek like she always does.
Then I did turn my face to the way that leads to
the house we live in. Cloud-ships were sailing over
the hills. They were in a hurry. The wind was in a
hurry. Brown leaves, little ones and big ones, were
hurrying along. I thought I had better get a hurry
on me. I did.
When I was come near unto the barn, I did go in
to get Plato and Pliny. I put them in my apron
pockets. The barn was rather dark. There were
friendly shadows in its corners. When I came out
I thought of Peter Paul Rubens. I did have thinks
cathedral service would be good for his soul. I went
again into the barn to get his little bell that he
does always wear around his neck to service, and I
did put it on. There was a time when there was no
little bell for Peter Paul Rubens to wear to service.
That was in the days before one day when I did
say to the man that wears gray neckties and is
kind to mice, "I do have needs of a little bell for
Peter Paul Rubens to wear to church." I got it.
And Peter Paul Rubens always knows he is going
to the cathedral when I put that little bell around
his neck. It does make lovely silver tinkles as he
goes walking down the aisle to the altar.
68 THE STORY OF OPAL
To-night so we did go, and too with us was Eliz-
abeth Barrett Browning. When we were come
near unto the hospital, I went aside for Thomas
Chatterton Jupiter Zeus. In the cathedral the
wind and the trees sang a vesper song. And I
prayed for quite a time long little prayers and long
prayers for the goodness of us all. Peter Paul
Rubens did grunt Amen at in-between times.
Now I hear the mamma say, "I wonder where
Opal is." She has forgets. I'm still under the bed
where she did put me quite a time ago. And all
this nice long time light is come to here from the
lamp on the kitchen table light enough so I
can print prints. I am happy. I think I better
crawl out now and go into the bed for sleeps
Of an Exploring Trip with Brave Horatius; and how Opal
Kept Sadness away from her Animal Friends.
NEAR eventime to-day I did go out the house
when the works were done. I went out the front
door and a little way down the path. I made a stop
to watch the clouds. They first did come over the
hills in a slow way. Then they did sail on and on.
They were like ships. I did have wonders what
thoughts they were carrying from the hills to some-
where. While I did watch, Brave Horatius did
come and stand by my side. He looked up at me.
In his eyes were askings. I made explainings. I
told him, "Le ciel est plein de nuages, qui ont 1'air
While I did talk with him, the mamma did call.
I went in. Brave Horatius followed after. She
made him go out the other door. I went too. I
went to get the potatoes the mamma wanted for
supper. I got them out of a sack in the wood-
shed. When she did make prepares to peel the
potatoes, the mamma reached away back in the
cook-table drawer for the paring knife. When she
did reach so far back, she did feel the track of
Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Then she pulled it
out real quick. She threw it out the window. When
I went to pick it up, it was broken into eleven
yo THE STORY OF OPAL
pieces. I did gather up all the pieces. They got a
little bit wet from tears that trickled down my
nose. When I did get the pieces together, I did put
them in the back part of the machine drawer.
While I so did, I heard a grunt by the bedroom
window. I climbed out. There was Peter Paul
Rubens, and near unto him was Brave Horatius.
To each I gave four pats on the nose. They have
likes for pats on the nose. Then I went adown the
path. They walked beside me. I saw the cloud-
ships sailing on. I made a stop to tell Peter Paul
Rubens what I did tell Brave Horatius. I did n't
get it all told. When I did say, "Le ciel est plein
de nuages," Peter Paul Rubens did grunt a grunt
to go on. That was his own dear way of telling me
he already did have knowings those clouds looked
like ships. I gave him a pat and one to Brave
I went on. They walked beside me. I went on a
little way. Then I did go aside from the path. I
so went to the altar of Saint Louis. Three logs and
four stumps and three trees it is distant from the
path. And I took there with me all the little plants
with green leaves the ones I did dig up yester-
day. I brought them to plant them in a crown there
on his altar, for this day is the day of his crowning
in 1226. While I did plant them, the wind did sing
a memory song. And the trees were talking. I
have thinks they were saying of the goodness of
Saint Louis. Peter Paul Rubens, he did have
THE STORY OF OPAL 71
understanding of what they were saying. He did
grunt Amen at in-between times.
To-day in the morning, when the mamma was
in the other room, I did take down from its hook
the papa's big coat. I did put it onto me and it did
trail away out behind. I like to wear the papa's
big coat. Jenny Strong, who comes to visit us, says
the reason I like to wear the papa's big coat is
because it makes me more grown-up. She's wrong.
The reason I like to wear the papa's big coat is
because it has pockets in it big ones nice
ones to put toads and mice and caterpillars and
beetles in. That's why I like to wear the papa's
coat. Why, when I go walking in the papa's big
coat, nearly the whole nursery can go along. This
morning, just as I was making a start out the door
to the nursery, the mamma came into the kitchen.
She did hurry to the door and I did hurry out. But
she caught me by the end of the coat. She did get
that coat off of me in a quick way. She hung it
back on its nail. When it was hung on its nail in
the proper way, she gave to me a shoulder-shake.
And I did go to feed the chickens.
After I did feed the chickens all, and have some
conversations with them, I went in to get the lard-
pail that does have my school lunch in it. While I
was putting my jacket on, the mamma did tie a
new piece of asfiditee around my neck to keep me
from having disease. It was a big piece of asfiditee.
72 THE STORY OF OPAL
It did n't stay a big piece very long. I divided it
with my animal friends. Now each one of us has a
bit of asfiditee tied around our necks, so we will
not catch sickness. I do so like to share things. I
could not find Brave Horatius to give him his share.
I did have it already to tie around his dear neck,
but he did not answer when I did call. I called in
the woods and I called in the field. When he did
not come, I went a little way back in the woods to
a root. I hid his piece of asfiditee there. To-morrow
morning I will tie it around his neck.
Near the root was a little wren. I made a stop to
watch him. He was in a hurry. I thought he would
tip over. I went in a hurry to help him. Before I
was come to the root he was gone. And I saw his
short tail no more.
When I got to school, teacher was standing there
in the door. She was looking far-off looks in the
way that does lead to the river. I thought maybe
she was having dream-thoughts. I was just going
to walk past her, when she turned me about for
inspection. She felt the outside of my left apron
pocket, but I did n't bring my pet toad again to
school this morning. I am not going to risk his life
again. Next time I am going to bring him to school
in a pocket in my underskirt.
Most all day in school to-day I did study from
the books Angel Mother and Angel Father did
make for me. I did screwtineyes the spell of words.
When school was let out, I went in the way that
THE STORY OF OPAL 73
does lead to a grove where many chene trees do
dwell. I so went to get brown leaves. After I did
have a goodly number of leaves, I did face about
in the way that does lead to the willow creek.
When I was come to the log that goes across
the creek I went halfway across. I went not all
way across because this is the going-away-day of
Henry I in 1135, and I did pause to scatter leaves
upon the waters. I let them fall one by one. And
they were sixty-seven, for his years were sixty-
Then I went to bugle in the canyon. I did go by
the pig-pen. I went that way to get Peter Paul
Rubens. He does so like to go for walks in that
canyon of the far woods when I go to bugle there.
And I do so like to have him go. I have thinks the
trees and the ferns and the singing brook all have
gladness when Peter Paul Rubens comes a while to
walk in the woods. He does carry so much joy with
him everywhere he goes.
To-day near eventime we did walk our way back
unto near the cathedral. We made a stop there for
a short prayer service. First I said Our Father,
and then I said two short prayers; one was a thank
prayer, and one was a glad prayer. As always,
Peter Paul Rubens did grunt Amen at in-between
times. Then he did go his way to the pig-pen to
get his supper. And I went aside to see if there
was any sheeps on the hillside. I saw not one. And
so I come again to the field. Elizabeth Barrett
74 THE STORY OF OPAL
Browning was at the pasture-bars. There was
lonesome feels in her mooings. I went and put my
arm around her neck. It is such a comfort to have
a friend near when lonesome feels do come.
How Brave Horatius is Lost and Found again, but Peter Paul
Rubens is Lost Forever.
I HAVE wonders where is Brave Horatius. He
comes not at my calling. Two days he is now gone.
For him I go on searches. I go the three roads that
go the three ways from where they have meeting
in front of the ranch house. On and on I go. To
the Orne and Rille I go. I go adown their ways. I
call and call. Into the woods beyond the riviere
into the foret de Saint-Germain-en-Laye I go. I
listen. The sounds that were in time of summer are
not now. Brave Horatius is not there. I call and
call. Then I come back again. I go to the house of
the girl who has no seeing. I go on. I go across the
fields of Auvergne and Picardie. But I have no
seeing of my Brave Horatius.
I come back again. The man that wears gray
neckties and is kind to mice he does keep watch
by the mill. But these two days he has had no
seeing of Brave Horatius. I have wonders where
can he be. Every time I see the chore boy he does
sing, "There was a little dog and his name was
Rover, and when he died, he died all over and
when he died he died all over."
The last part he does wail in a most long way. I
76 THE STORY OF OPAL
have not listenings to what that chore boys says.
I go on. I pray on. I look and I look for Brave
Horatius. I go four straight ways and I come back
four different ways. When I am come I go back
and forth by Jardin des Tuileries and across Pont
Royal and adown the singing creek where the
willows grow. Lonesome feels are everywhere. I
call and I do call. And I do go on and on to where
Rhone flows around Camargue.
I turn about and I go in the way that does go to
the foret de Montmorency. I go to the foret de
Montmorency. No tree here is a chataignier. But
anyway I do call it foret de Montmorency, and
often it is I come here; here I come with Brave
Horatius. I went in through and out through, but
no answerings did come when I did call. I wonder
where he is. In the morning of to-day, when I did
go that way, I did meet with the father of Lola.
And I did ask if he had seen my Brave Horatius.
He did have no seeing of him, and he did ask where
all I was going on searches. I did tell him to Orne
and Yonne and Rille and to Camargue and Picardie
and Auvergne and to the foret de Montmorency.
And when I did so tell him, he did laugh. Most all
the folks do laugh at the names I do call places here-
about. They most all do laugh 'cepting Sadie
McKibben. She smiles and smoothes out my curls
and says, "Name 'em what ye are a mind to,
dearie." Sadie McKibben has an understanding
soul. She keeps watch out of her window for see-
THE STORY OF OPAL 77
ings of Brave Horatius, and she has promised me
she will ask everybody that she does see go by her
house if they have had seeings of Brave Horatius.
All my friends do feel lonesome feels for Brave
Horatius. Lars Porsena of Clusium hardly has
knowing what to do. And Peter Paul Rubens did
have goings with me three times on searches. And
when I did have stops to pray, he did grunt Amen.
And he would like to have goings with me on the
afternoon of to-day. But the pig-pen fence it
was fixed most tight; and I could n't unfix it with
the hammer, so he might have goings with me. I
did start on. He did grunt grunts to go. I did feel
more sad feels. I do so like to have him go with me
on explores and searches. To-day I did go on, and
then I did come back to give him more good-bye
pats on the nose until I was come again. So I did
four times. I did tell him when Brave Horatius
was found we would soon come to his pen.
Then I went on. On I went not far, for the
mamma did call me to come tend the baby. And I
came again to the house we live in. When sleeps
was upon the baby, I lay me down to sleep, for tired
feels was upon me. Now I feel not so. I have been
making prints. The mamma is gone with the baby
to the house of Elsie. I go now again to seek for my
A little way I went. A long way I went. When I
was come part way back again, I climbed upon the
old gray fence made of rails. I walked adown it to
78 THE STORY OF OPAL
the gate-post and there I sat. I sat there until I
saw the shepherd bringing down the sheep from the
blue hills. When he was come in sight, I went up
the road to meet him and all the sheeps. And when
I was come near unto them, I did have seeing there
by the shepherd's side did abide my Brave Hora-
tius. I was happy. I was full of glad feels. Brave
Horatius showed his glad feels in his tail and he
did look fond looks at the flock of sheep. I so did,
too. And in the flock there was Bede of Jarrow and
Alfric of Canterbury and Alberic de Briancon and
Felix of Croyland. And there was Cynewulf and
Alcuin and Orderic and Gwian and Elidor. And
in the midst of the flock there was Guy de Cavaillon
and Raoul de Houdenc and Edwin of Diera and
Adamnan of lona. I did give to each and every one
a word of greeting as I did walk among the flock.
And there were others that I had not yet given
names to. And last of them all last of all the
flock was Dalian Forgaill.
And when we were come a little way, the shep-
herd did ask me again what were the names I did
call his sheep, and I told him all over again. And
he did say them after me. But the ways he did say
them were not just the ways I say them some of
them. And he did ask me where I did have gettings
of those names. And I did tell him I did have
gettings of those names from my two books that
Angel Mother and Angel Father did write in.
We went on. Pretty soon I did tell him as how
THE STORY OF OPAL 79
it was while he was gone away to the blue hills I
did choose for him another name. I told him how
sometimes I did call him by that other name. He
did have wantings to know what the other name
was. I did tell him this new name I have for him is
Aidan of lona come from Lindisfarne. He liked it.
I told him I did too. We went on. We did have
talks. When we were come near unto the lane I did
say, "Good-bye, Aidan of lona come from Lindis-
farne. I am glad you and the flock are come." He
gave my curls a smooth back and he said, "Good-
bye, little one."
Then Brave Horatius and I went in a hurry in
the way that does go to the pig-pen. When we were
gone part ways I looked a look back, and in the
road there I saw Aidan of lona come from Lindis-
farne still watching us. Then we went on. And we
were full of gladness when we did reach the pig-pen,
for Brave Horatius and Peter Paul Rubens and I
we are friends. I did say a long thank prayer
for that we were together again. And Peter Paul
Rubens did grunt Amen.
I am feeling all queer inside. Yesterday was
butchering day. Among the hogs they butchered
was Peter Paul Rubens. The mamma let me go off
to the woods all day, after my morning's work was
done. Brave Horatius and Lars Porsena of Clusium
went with me a part of the time he perched on
my shoulder, and then he would ride on the back of
8o THE STORY OF OPAL
Brave Horatius. Felix Mendelssohn rode in my
apron pocket and Elizabeth Barrett Browning fol-
We had not gone far when we heard an awful
squeal so different from the way pigs squeal
when they want their supper. I felt cold all over.
Then I did have knowings why the mamma had
let me start away to the woods without scolding.
And I ran a quick run to save my dear Peter Paul
Rubens; but already he was dying and he died
with his head in my lap. I sat there feeling dead,
too, until my knees were all wet with blood from
the throat of my dear Peter Paul Rubens. After I
changed my clothes and put the bloody ones in the
rain-barrel, I did go to the woods to look for the
soul of Peter Paul Rubens. I did n't find it, but I
think when comes the spring I will find it among
the flowers probably in the blossom of a faon
lily or in the top of a fir tree. To-day, when Brave
Horatius and I went through the woods, we did
feel its presence near. When I was come back
from the woods, they made me grind sausage, and
every time I did turn the handle I could hear that
little pain squeal Peter Paul Rubens always gave
when he did want me to come where he was at once.
How Opal Took the Miller's Brand out of the Flour-Sack, and
Got Many Sore Feels thereby; and how Sparks Come on
Cold Nights; and how William Shakespeare Has Likings
THIS day, when I was come home from school, I
did have much wood to carry in, for cold days are
come. I did make goes to the wood-shed to get the
wood. Going to the wood-shed I passed that new
flour-sack hanging on the clothes-line. It was flap-
ping in the wind. By and by that flour-sack is
going to evolute into an underskirt for me to wear
under my dress when I go to school. I got my arms
full of wood as much as they could hold. Then
I came into the house to put the wood into the box
behind the stove.
The mamma was standing by the window. She
looked worry looks at that new flour-sack hanging
on the clothes-line there. She said she wished she
knew a quicker way to get that miller's brand out
of the flour-sack. She put on her fascinator and
went a-visiting. She told me to watch the baby
that was sleeping on the bed. While I was carrying
in more sticks of wood, I tried to think of a quicker
way to get that miller's brand out of that flour-sack
a-flapping there in the window.
When enough wood was in and two more loads
82 THE STORY OF OPAL
besides, I did sit on the wood-box. After I did sit
still a most long time, thinks did come of a way. I
got the scissors out. I got them out of the mamma's
work-basket. The time it did take to cut the mil-
ler's brand out of the flour-sack, it was only a little
time. And when it was fixed, I did fold it in nice
folds with the nice crooks sticking out. The scissors
did make those crooks in a nice way. Scissors are
useful. I do find much use for them. But the
mamma likes not the uses I find for the scissors.
She does say I am a new sance. I guess a new sance
is something some grown-up people don't like to
have around at all.
I have wonders about things. I have sore feels
in my heart and sore feels on the back part of me.
I so want to be helps to the mamma. But it's very
hard. Why, to-day when I did run to meet her, I
did say, "It's out. It's out. I've got it out."
And she looked no glad looks. She did only look
looks about for a hazel bush. First one she saw,
she did take two limbs of it. All the way to the door
she made tingles on me with them. I do not think
she does have knowing how they feel such queer
sore feels. I feel she would not like their feels.
When we were come to the door, she did tell me
to stay outside. She said I could n't come into her
house. But I did have knowing where I could go.
I went to talk with Good King Edward I and lovely
Eleanor of Castile. I did climb onto the lane fence
and into the arms of lovely Queen Eleanor. I do
THE STORY OF OPAL 83
so like to be in her arms when things do trouble me.
She has understandings. From her arms I did go
to hunt for the soul of Peter Paul Rubens. Lucian
Horace Ovid Virgil rode in my left apron pocket
and Nannerl Mozart rode in my right apron pocket.
She is a most shy mouse and does keep her nose
hid. As we did go along, I did gather gray leaves.
Forty-two gray leaves I did so gather.
Then we went on. We went on to the near woods.
I had not findings to-day for the soul of my dear
Peter Paul Rubens, but I did tell the wind that was
walking in the woods to tell Peter Paul Rubens I
was come a-seeking for his soul. Then I did turn
my face to the way that does lead to the cathedral.
On the way I met with Elizabeth Barrett Browning
and Brave Horatius and Isaiah. Together we did
go to the cathedral. We went unto the little tree
that I have planted there for rememberings of good
John Milton, for this day is the day of his borning
in 1608. We did have prayers. It was so lonesome
Peter Paul Rubens not being there to grunt
Amen at in-between times. Brave Horatius came
near unto me when prayers were most done. He
did put his nose against my hand for a pat. I
gave him two. One was for him and one was for
Peter Paul Rubens that was.
Then we all did go in the way that does lead to
the singing creek where the willows grow. When
we were come, all that were with me did stand very
close by. They so did stand while I did drop the
84 THE STORY OF OPAL
gray leaves upon the water. All the forty-two
leaves I did gather I did drop upon the water, for
this is the day of the going-away of Antoine Van
Dyck in 1641. And his years they were forty- two.
When the leaves were all upon the water I did say
a little prayer, and we came home. It was most
dark-time and the lamp on the kitchen table did
shine its light out the window. And it came down
the path to meet us.
There were pictures on the window-panes when
I woke up this morning. By-and-by the fire in the
stove made the room warm, and the pictures on
the window-panes went away. I was sorry when
they went away. I so did like to look looks at
When I did have my breakfast, the mamma did
send me to take a bucket of something with eggs
on top it to the ranch-house. The outdoors did
have coldness. It did make my fingers to have
queer feels. And my nose felt like I did n't have
any. Brave Horatius followed after me as I did go
along. As I did go along, I did see ice on the mud-
puddles. Every now and then I did stop to break
the ice on the mud-puddles. I broke the ice to see
what was in the water. Under the ice that was
over the cow-tracks there was no water only
dirt, cold and stiff, with little crystals on it.
When I was come to the ranch-house, the grand-
ma did come to the door, and she took the bucket
THE STORY OF OPAL 85
of something with eggs on top it, that the mamma
did send to her. I started on to school. I did go as
far as the pump. I made a stop there. I was going
to give its handle some lift-ups and some pull-
downs, so water would come out. I have likes to see
water come out of that pump. But to-day water
won't come out of the pump. The pump-handle
won't go up and down. The grandpa said it froze
in the night. I think it has got the croup. I expect
it needs some coal-oil. I have thinks I must tend to
that pump to-night.
All day here at school I now do study. For little
bits of times I do study my school-book. But most
of the time I do study the books Angel Father and
Angel Mother did write in. I do study these most
every day at school. I do study the spell of the
words. And after times and before times I do sing
the spelling of the words to the gentle Jersey cow
while I do ride her to pasture. And I sit in the
manger at evening-time and sing the spellings of
these words to William Shakespeare when he is
come home from work in the woods. I have thinks
most of my animal friends do have knowings of the
spellings of these words. It so often is I do sing
the spellings of these words to them.
When I did come home from school to-night, I
did make a stop at that pump to see how much coal-
oil it did need for its croup. But it had no needs to
be tended. The croup that it did have on this
morning was all gone. When I did give its handle
86 THE STORY OF OPAL
some lift-ups and some push-downs, water did come
out. I watched it. It stopped coming out when I
did stop giving it lift-ups and push-downs. I went
on. I saw the black cat by the barn. On cold nights
I have given that cat long rubs on its back, and
sparks have come. I did have thinks about sparky
things as I did come on home. Now I have know-
ings of these. Cats are sparky black ones on a
cold night. Stoves are sparky on cold days. Rocks
are sparky flint ones when you give them a
thump. The chore boy says some people are
sparky. He does n't know what he is talking about.
When I was come into the house we live in, I
gave the baby a gentle thump. It squawked, but
there were no sparks. Then the mamma came in
the back door. She had not knows why it squawked,
but she did tell me to mind it. I so did. The
mamma went out again to the house of Elsie. When
she was gone, I did sing to the baby a new song I did
make up to-day. Most every day I do make up a
song. I sing them not when the mamma is in the
house, for she does give me most hard spankings
when I do start to sing them. To-day I did teeter
the baby on the bed as she said. And more I did.
I did sing to her the new song. I did sing to her,
" Maintenant est hiver,
Le ciel est gris,
Le champ est tranquille,
Les fleurs dorment,
Maintenant est hiver."
THE STORY OF OPAL 87
Then she did kick many kicks in the air. I did
tickle her toes. She likes to have her toes tickled.
She has likes for it. This baby has likes for many
things. She has likes to sit up on the bed. The
mamma has me to prop it up so it won't fall over.
And this baby it has likes to make bubbles with
its mouth and to stick its foot in its mouth. It
does like to rattle all the rattles the grandma and
Jenny 'Strong and Elsie bring to it. It does have
such likes to be rocked. And most of the times
when it is awake, it does want to be singed to and
carried about. It is a baby what has satisfaction
looks on its face for a little time when it gets what
it wants. It only has those satisfaction looks a
little time. Soon it does have some more wants,
and it wants to have what it wants. The mamma
does have me to rock it and rock it and teeter it on
the bed and walk the floor with it. Sometimes it
does get most heavy. Then I do let my knees bend
under and I do sit on the floor and rock it back and
forth. The mamma, she does have much likes for
it to have what it wants.
I am joy all over. I have found in the near woods
a plant that has berries like the berries sympkorine
has. And its leaves are like the leaves symphorine
has. I have had seeings of it before, and every time
I do meet with this new old plant, I do say, " I have
happy feels to see you, Symphorine." And when
the wind comes walking in the near woods, the
THE STORY OF OPAL
little leaves of symphorine do whisper little whis-
pers. I have thinks they are telling me they were
come here before I was come here. I make a stop
to have more listens. They do whisper, " See, petite
Francoise, we were a long time come." I can see
they were, too, because their toes have grown quite
a ways down in the ground.
To-day, as I did walk a walk to where they grow,
I did tell them about the day that it is. I told them
all about this being the borning day of Jeanne
d'Albret, mere de Henri IV, in 1528. I told the
year-numbers on my fingers. I had thinks they
might have remembers better if I so told them on
my fingers. I do have remembers of numbers
better when I do tell them on my fingers. Brave
Horatius did stand by and listen while I so told
them. We went on.
I tied bits of bread on the tips of the branches of
the trees. Too, I tied on popcorn kernels. They
looked like snow-flowers blooming there on fir
trees. I looked looks back at them. I have knows
the birds will be glad for them. Often I do bring
them here for them. When I do have hungry feels
I feel the hungry feels the birds must be having.
So I do have comes to tie things on the trees for
them. Some have likes for different things. Little
gray one of the black cap has likes for suet. And
other folks has likes for other things.
There is a little box in the woods that I do keep
things for the pheasants and grouses and squirrels
THE STORY OF OPAL 89
and more little birds and wood-mouses and wood-
rats. In fall-time days Peter Paul Rubens did come
here with me when I did bring seeds and nuts to
this box for days of hiver. When we were come to
the box, I did have more thinks of him. I think the
soul of Peter Paul Rubens is not afar. I think it is
in the forest. I go looking for it. I climb up in the
trees. I call and call. And then when I find it not,
I do print a message on a leaf, and I tie it onto the
highest limb I can reach. And I leave it there with
a little prayer for Peter Paul Rubens. I do miss
To-day, after I so did leave a message on a leaf
away up in a tree for him, I did have going in along
the lane and out across the field and down the road
beyond the meeting of the roads. There was gray-
ness everywhere gray clouds in the sky and gray
shadows above and in the canyon. And all the
voices that did speak they were gray tones.
" Petite Francoise, c'est jour gris." And all the little
lichens I did see along the way did seem a very
part of all the grayness. And Felix Mendelssohn
in my apron pocket he was a part of the grayness,
too. And as I did go adown the road, I did meet
with a gray horse and his grayness was like the
grayness of William Shakespeare. Then I did turn
about. I did turn my face to the near woods where
is William Shakespeare.
When Rob Ryder is n't looking, I give to William
Shakespeare pieces of apple and I pull grass for him.
90 THE STORY OF OPAL
He so likes a nice bit to eat after he does pull a long
pull on the logs. And while I do feed him bits of
apple and bits of grass, I do tell him poems. Wil-
liam Shakespeare has likes for poems. And some-
times I do walk along by him when he is pulling in
logs and I do tell the poems to him while he pulls.
And I give his head rubs when he is tired, and his
back too. And on some Sundays when he is in the
pasture I go there to talk with him. He comes to
meet me. William Shakespeare and I we are
friends. His soul is very beautiful. The man that
wears gray neckties and is kind to mice says he is a
dear old horse.
Of Elsie's Brand-New Baby, and all the Things that Go with
it; and the Goodly Wisdom of the Angels who Bring Folks
Babies that Are like them.
ELSIE has a brand-new baby and all the things
that go with it. There's a pink fleur on its baby
brush and a pink bow on its cradle-quilt. The
angels brought the baby just last night in the night.
I have been to see it a goodly number of times
most everything I did start to do, I went aside
before I did get through doing it to take peeps at
the darling baby. I so did when I was sent to feed
the chickens, and when I went to carry in the wood,
and when I went to visit Aphrodite, and when I
went to take eggs to the folks that live yonder, and
when I went to get some soap at the ranch-house,
and when I went to take a sugar-lump to William
Shakespeare, and when I went to take food to the
folks in the hospital, and when I went to the ranch-
house to get the milk. And in the between times I
did go in the way that does lead to the house of
The baby it is a beautiful baby though it
does have much redness of face from coming such
a long way in the cold last night. Maybe it was
the coldness of the night that did cause the angels
to make the mistake. They stopped at the wrong
92 THE STORY OF OPAL
house. I 'm quite sure this is the very baby I have
been praying for the angels to bring to the new
young folks that do live by the mill by the far
woods. Dear Love, her young husband does call
her. And they are so happy. But they have been
married seven whole months and have n't got a
baby yet. Twice every day for a time long I have
been praying prayers for the angels to bring them
one real soon. And most all day to-day I did feel
I better tell Elsie as how this baby is n't her baby,
before she does get too fond of it. She so likes to
cuddle it now. Both morning and afternoon I did
put off going to tell her about it. I did wait most
until eventime. Then I could n't keep still any
longer. I felt I would just have to speak to her
about it at once.
I did have knowings that Mrs. Limberger, that
was staying with Elsie until the other woman was
come back, would n't let me come in the door to
see the baby again because she has opinions that
nineteen times is fully enough to be a-coming to
see a baby on the first day of its life on earth. So I
went and got a wood-box off the back porch, and
I did go around to the bedroom window. I did get
on top the wood-box and I made tappings on the
window-pane. Elsie did have hearings. She did
turn her head on the pillow. And she gave nods for
me to come in. I pushed the window a push enough
so I could squeeze in. Then I sidled over to the bed,
Elsie did look so happy with the baby. I did
THE STORY OF OPAL 93
swallow a lump in my throat. She looked kind
smiles at me. I did not like to bring disturbs to her
calm. I just stood there making pleats in my blue
calico apron. I did have thinks of Dear Love and
the house without a baby by the mill by the far
woods. Then I felt I could n't wait any longer. I
just said, "I know you are going to have a disap-
point, Elsie, but I have got to tell you this baby
is n't yours. It's a mistake. It really belongs to
Dear Love in that most new, most little house by
the mill by the far woods. It's the one I've been
praying the Angels to bring to her."
Just when I was all out of breath from telling
her, there did come the heavy step of Mrs. Lim-
berger's approaches. Elsie did say in a gentle way,
" Come to me early in the morning and we will talk
the matter over." Then I did go out the window.
From the house of Elsie I did go to talk with
Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael. He does so
understand. All troubles that do trouble me, I do
talk them over with him. While I was telling him
all about how the angels did make a mistake and
did bring Dear Love's baby to the house of Elsie,
I did hear a little voice. It was a baby voice. It
did come from the barn. I went in to see. It was n't
in the haystack. It seemed to come from a way
below. I slid down to the manger of the gentle
Jersey cow. I thought she was in the pasture, but
there she was in the barn. And with her was a dear
new baby calf. When I did ask the ranch folks
94 THE STORY OF OPAL
when it was brought, they did say it was brought
in the night last night. I have thinks the same
angel that did bring the new baby to the house of
Elsie did bring also in her other arm that baby calf
to the gentle Jersey cow. To-night I will pick it out
a name from the books Angel Mother and Angel
Father did write in. Early in the morning I will
go again to the house of Elsie.
Early on the morning of to-day I did go in the
way that does lead to the house of Elsie. I did rap
gentle raps on the door, and the young husband of
Elsie did come to raise the latch. When the door
did come open, I did have seeing that his black
pumpadoor did seem to shine more than most
times, and all the vaseline was gone from the jar
that sets on the kitchen shelf. I did tell him how
Elsie did say for me to come early in this morning.
And before he did have time for answers, Elsie did
have hearing in the other room. She did call. She
did call me to come in.
In I went. The baby it was beside her. It was
all wrapped in a blanket so it could n't even have
seeings out the window how the raindrops was
coming down so fast. The young husband of Elsie
did look fond looks at that blanket. I did begin to
have fears he did have thinks it was his baby.
Elsie did unwrap the blanket from its red face.
It's just as red as it was yesterday, though the
rain coming makes the weather more warm. Elsie
THE STORY OF OPAL 95
did say, "See its long hair." And I did have seeing.
It was n't long though, not more than an inch. It
was most black. And its eyes they were dark.
It did have prefers to keep them shut. When I
did see them, Elsie did say, "Now about what we
were talking about yesterday next time you go
to the house of Dear Love, have seeing of the color
of her eyes and hair and also of her husband's.
I hardly think this baby's hair and eyes are like
theirs. And maybe it is where it does belong." "I
feel sure about that," said her young husband. But
I had not feels so.
Just then the mamma did holler for me to come
home to bring wood in. I so come. Now she does
have me mind the baby. I do print.
When sleeps was come upon the mamma's baby,
I straightway did go in a hurry to the house of
Dear Love by the mill by the far woods. All the
way along the raindrops were coming in a hurry
down. Many of them did say, "Petite Franoise
too. I wonder, I wonder." When I was come to
the house of Dear Love, she was there and he was
there. Her eyes were light blue, and her hair, it was
very light. Most cream hair she has got. And her
husband that does call her Dear Love his eyes
they are blue, and he has red hair. I saw. And I
was going right back because I did feel sad feels,
Dear Love, she did lead me back into her house and
did have me to sit on a chair. I sat on its corner.
And I felt lumps come up in my throat. She did
96 THE STORY OF OPAL
take off my fascinator, and she did take off my
shoes so my feet would get dry.
Then she did take me on her lap and she did ask
me what was the matter. And I just did tell her all
about it all about how I had been praying for
the angels to bring a baby real soon to them and
how sad feels I did feel because they did n't have
a baby yet. Her husband did smile a quiet smile at
her, and roses did come on her cheeks. And I did
have thinks that they did have thinks that this
baby the angels did bring to the house of Elsie was
their baby. Then I did give them careful explana-
tions as how I too did have thinks it was their
baby the angels did bring to the house of Elsie, that
I did pray for them to have real soon. And as how
I did have thinks so yesterday and last night and
right up until now, when I did come to their house
and have seeings of their blue eyes and his having
red hair. I did tell them as how this baby could n't
be theirs, because it has most dark hair and dark
eyes like the eyes and the hair of the young
husband of Elsie.
Angels do have a big amount of goodly wisdom.
They do bring to folks babies that are like them.
To mother sheeps they do bring lambs. To mother
horse they do bring a poulain. To mother bats they
bring twin bats. To a mother mouse they do bring
a baby mulot and some more like it all at the
same time. To mere daine they do bring a baby
faon. To the gentle Jersey cow they did bring a
THE STORY OF OPAL 97
baby calf, with creamness and brownness upon it
like the creamness and brownness that is upon
the gentle Jersey cow. Angels do have a goodly
amount of wisdom. They do bring to folks babies
that do match them. And after I did tell them that,
I did have telling them as how, being as this baby
did n't have eyes and hair to match theirs, it
could n't be their baby. But I did tell them not to
have disappoints too bad, because I am going to
pray on and maybe she will get a baby next
When I did say that, her young husband did
walk over to the window and look long looks out.
I have thinks he was having wonders if two or
three angels would be coming with the angel that
will be bringing their baby, and if the cradle-quilt
they bring with it will have a blue bow or a pink
bow on it and if its baby brush will have blue fleurs
or pink fleurs on it. I have wonders. I think blue
fleurs on its baby brush and a blue bow on its
cradle-quilt will look nicer with red hair than pink
fleurs and a pink bow. I have thinks I better put
that in my prayers.
By-and-by, when my feets were dry, they did
put my shoes on and they laced them up. They
did n't miss a string-hole like I do sometimes when
I am in a hurry to get them tied up. Then, when
they did have them tied up, they did want me to
stay to dinner; but I did have feels I must hurry
back to the house of Elsie and tell her that the baby
98 THE STORY OF OPAL
was hers. She might be having anxious feels about
it. When I did say good-bye they did give me two
apples one for William Shakespeare and one for
Elizabeth Barrett Browning. And they did give me
some cheese for Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus
and corn for Lars Porsena of Clusium. And they
came a long way with me.
Then I did go on in hurry steps to the house of
Elsie. As quick as her young husband did open
the door, I did walk right in, for I did have thinks
maybe she did have some very anxious feels while
I was gone. She smiled glad smiles when I told her
it was hers. It must have been an immense amount
of relief her now knowing it really was her own
baby. And when I did turn around to tell her young
husband it was theirs, her young husband, he just
said, "I knew it was mine." And he looked more
fond looks at the blanket it was wrapped in. I have
feels now it is nice for them to have it; and it is
good that they will not have needs to give it up
being as it matches them. Angels do have a goodly
amount of wisdom. This is a wonderful world to
When I did say good-bye to Elsie and the charm-
ante baby, I did go to the barn where is the gentle
Jersey cow and the baby calf that does match her.
That baby calf I have named Mathilde Plantage-
net. I have named her so for Mathilde that was
daughter of Roi Henri I and Mathilde that was
daughter of Sainte Marguerite that was reine
THE STORY OF OPAL 99
d'Ecosse. Mathilde Plantagenet is her name be-
cause the name of the man Mathilde did marry,
it was Geoffroi Plantagenet. And too in days of
summer the genet fleur grows near unto here. I
have had seeings of them by waters that flow by
the mill town. And when their bloom time is come,
I will make for Mathilde Plantagenet a guirlande
of les fleurs de genet. And we will go walking down
How Felix Mendelssohn and Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil Go
for a Ride; William Shakespeare Suffers One Whipping
and Opal Another.
ON the way home from school to-night I did
meet with Sadie McKibben, and it was very nice to
see her freckles. And she wore her blue gingham
apron with cross stitches on it. First when we were
met she did kiss me on each cheek. Then she was
going to shake hands with me, but I could not
shake hands with her with my right hand because
Louis II, le Grande Conde, was asleep in my sleeve.
I had fears shaking hands with my right hand
would disturb his calm. So I gave explanations.
And Sadie McKibben did have understanding. She
gave me a kiss on my nose and smoothed back my
curls and shook hands with my left hand.
When she so did, Felix Mendelssohn did poke
his nose out the cuff. He made a quick run up my
arm and settled down on my shoulder. He is a very
quick-moving mouse. Sadie McKibben did see the
movement his moving did make on my sleeve. She
asked me if that was all my friends I did take to
school to-day. Then I lifted up my apron and I
did show her Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil. He was
riding in a pocket in my underskirt. She did have
wantings to know why it was that I was not carry-
THE STORY OF OPAL 101
ing him in my apron pocket as I use to do. I told
her I did not so now, for teacher does feel of my
apron pockets when I do come into school in the
morning; so I carry my friends in my sleeves and in
pockets in my underskirt.
Sadie McKibben did have understanding. And
she did say she thought she would have to be
getting me a little basket to carry them in. She
said she was going to speak to the man that wears
gray neckties and is kind to mice about the matter.
I have thinks to be carried in a warm basket will
please the souls of Louis II, le Grand Conde, and
Felix Mendelssohn and Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil
and all the little folk that do go walking with me.
It will be almost as nice as to ride in the pockets of
the papa's big coat. I have thinks I will have needs
to put pockets in that basket and divides so there in
it will be little rooms, little rooms for all the folks of
the nursery. I will let them have their turns riding
to school in the basket. And there is enough room
in my seat so that basket can set right beside me.
I can hardly wait waits until I do have that basket.
When Sadie McKibben did kiss me good-bye, she
gave me a sugar-lump for William Shakespeare and
a piece of cheese for Thomas Chatterton Jupiter
Zeus and a bone for Brave Horatius and ten corn-
seeds for Lars Porsena of Clusium. She does have
knowings of the likings of my friends. Then she
went her way, and I did come my way home to the
house we live in.
102 THE STORY OF OPAL
When I was come, first I did feed the chickens.
And then I did go to carry in the wood. It was
while I was carrying in wood that Rob Ryder came
to borrow a hammer. I have n't been near unto
where he has been since I did bite his hand the
other day. And to-day the mamma tried to make
me say to that Rob Ryder how sorry I was because
I bit him on the hand. But I was n't a bit sorry.
And I would n't say I was sorry. And if I got a
chance I'd bite him again for his laying that big
whip to the back of William Shakespeare when he
does n't pull logs fast enough. I know my William
Shakespeare and I know how hard he pulls to pull
those logs. To pull those logs he does his very best.
And when he was gone away the mamma did
spank me most hard with the hair-brush. Then she
put me out the door. And I did go from the house
we do live in to where do dwell King Edward III
and Queen Philippa of Hainault. They are grand
trees. We are friends. Often it is I go to where
they dwell when the mamma does put me out of
the house. To-day I did stay long with them and
I did talk long with them. Mostly it was about the
lovely England when they were there, we did have
talks about to-day. And the wind was talking too.
I think the wind does have knowing of this being
their wedding day in 1328. As he did come near
unto where they dwell, he did walk among the
willows by the singing creek. And I did climb down
from the arms of Queen Philippa of Hainault and
THE STORY OF OPAL 103
go to gather water-cress for the mamma. She does
have such a fondness for it.
Then I did say good-bye, and I did say good-bye
to all those twelve trees growing near unto them.
And all those twelve trees that do grow near unto
King Edward III and Queen Philippa of Hainault
those twelve trees are their twelve children.
The tree most near unto Edward III, that is
Edward Prince of Wales; and the one next unto
him is Lionel Duke of Clarence; and the one most
near unto him, that is John of Gaunt, Duke of
Lancaster. The time was when there were only
ten trees growing there, and I did have needs to
plant two more. Two little ones I did plant, and
one is for baby Blanche and one is for baby William,
the other one.
How Opal Feels Satisfaction Feels, and Takes a Ride on
William Shakespeare; and all that Came of it.
AFTER I did dish-towel all the dishes that we did
use in the breakfast meal, the mamma did send me
to get barks for the warming stove. While I was
getting barks I did stop to screwtineyes the plump
wiggles that were in and under all the barks. Those
plump wiggles will grow and change. They will
grow and change into beetles. I have seen them do
so. I have taken them from the bark and they did
so grow into beetles after some long time. In
the nursery I kept them while they did so change.
After the barks was in I did go my way to school.
I went aside to Saint Firmin by Nonette. I made
a stop where the willows grow. I love to touch
fingers with the willows. Then I do feel the feels
the willows feel. I did tell them all and every one
about this being the going-away day of Charle-
magne in 814 and the borning day of Henry VII in
1457. Each pussy-willow baby did wear a gray silk
tricot. He did look warm. He smiled, "Bonjo'ur,
petite Francoise," in a friendly way. I think he
does remember the days in summer when I did
drink in inspirations dabbling my toes by his toes
there in the singing brook.
When I did have talks with them for a little
THE STORY OF OPAL 105
time, I did go on. And all along I stopped very
often on the way to talk to the other pussy-willows.
I was quite late to school. Teacher made me stand
in the corner to get my lesson with my face to the
wall. I did n't mind that at all. There was a win-
dow in that part of the wall. It was near the corner.
I looked looks at my book sometimes. Most of the
times I looked looks out the window. I had seeing
of little plant folks just peeping out of the earth to
see what they could see. I did have thinks it would
be nice to be one of them, and then grow up and
have a flower and bees a-coming and seed-children
at fall-time. I have thinks this is a very interest
world to live in. There is so much to see out the
window when teacher does have one to stand in the
corner to study one's lesson.
When teacher did send me to my seat to get my
slate for arithmetic, I did put Lucian Horace Ovid
Virgil in my desk by my Cyr's Reader. I keep my
books in one little corner of my desk, and that does
leave a lot of room for my animal friends. There
was room enough for Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil to
take little nice hops. But while I was having recites
with arithmetic, he hopped a little hop too far and
he fell out of my desk. I had quivers, and it was
hard to pay attentions to arithmetic. When our
lessons were done I made a quick go to my seat. I
looked a look under for him. He was not there. I
looked more looks about. He was rows away over
by the seat-row where Lola has her sitting. I did
106 THE STORY OF OPAL
almost sit sideways in my seat, I had such anxious
feels about him.
Lola had seeing. She made a reach over. She
picked him up in a gentle way. She put him in her
apron pocket. She made a begin to study her
geography. She asked teacher if she might get a
drink from the dipper in the wrap-room. She went.
She made a come-back from the wrap-room down
our rw, going to her geography class. When she
went by my desk, she put her hand in my pocket.
She went on to the recite bench. Lucian Horace
Ovid Virgil was back again in my apron pocket. I
felt an immense amount of satisfaction feels.
Some days there is cream to be shaked into but-
ter. The mamma does have me to make a handle
go up and down a lot of times in the churn. This
makes the butter come. When there is only a little
cream to be shaked into butter, then the mamma
has me to shake it to and fro in a glass jar. Some-
times it gets awfully heavy and my arms do get
ache feels up and down. There are most ache feels
when the butter is a long time in coming. It so was
to-day. I gave it many shakes, and I was having
hopes it soon would be come. After some long time,
when it was most come, the lid came off and it all
shaked out. Then the mamma did have cross feels
and the spanks she gave made me to have sore
feels on the back part of me. I was making tries to
be helps to her. That butter was almost come.
THE STORY OF OPAL 107
After I did give the floor washes and mops up
where the splashes of buttermilk did jump, then
the mamma put me out the door and told me to
get out and stay out of her way. I so did. I went
out across the field and in along the lane. Lars
Porsena of Clusium had going with me. I looked
looks away to the meeting of the roads. There was
a horse come near unto it. A man was riding on
this horse. I like to ride upon a horse. I like to
stand up when I ride upon a horse. It is so much
joy. I feel the feels the horse does feel when he puts
each foot to the ground.
When I did see that horse go on and on, then I
did have feels it would be nice to go a long way on
explores. I did have thinks William Shakespeare
had wants to go. He was in the lane. I gave him
pats on the nose and I talked with him about it.
We did start on. When we were come to the end of
the lane there was the gate. It did take some long
time to get it open. The plug did stick so tight and
more yet. I did pull and I made more pulls. It
came out. It did come out in a quick way. I did
have a quick set-down. I got up in a slow way. I
did show William Shakespeare the way to go out
the gate. He went, I went. We went adown the
road. A little way we went and we were come to a
stump. I made a climb upon it. From the stump I
did climb upon the back of William Shakespeare.
We went on. When we were come to the meeting
of the roads, we went the way of the road that goes
io8 THE STORY OF OPAL
to the upper camps. We made no stops until we
were come to where a long time ago the road had a
longing to go across the riviere, and some men that
had understanding made it a bridge to go across on.
When we were come to the bridge, we made a stop
and I did sing to the riviere a song. I sang it Le
chant de Seine, de Havre, et Essonne et Nonette et
Roullon et Iton et Darnetal et Ourcq et Rille et
Loing et Eure et Audelle et Nonette et Sarc. I sang
it as Angel Father did teach me to, and as he has
wrote it in the book.
And after I did sing it all, we did watch the
water splash itself against the legs of the bridge.
The water goes not now slow as it did in summer
days. We went on. And the boards of the bridge
did make squeaks as we went across. And they
said in their squeaks, "Petite Francoise, we have
been waiting a long time for you to go across the
riviere." And I did have William Shakespeare to
make a little stop so I could tell the boards I have
been waiting waits a long time to go across. While
I so was doing, they did not squeak. When we
made a start to go on, they did squeak.
After we were across the riviere we went in a
more slow way. There was so many things to see.
Trees and trees were all along the way. There were
more ranch-houses. I did have seeing of them set
always back from the road, and smoke did come in
curls from out their chimneys. At a bend in the
road there was a big chene tree it was a very big
THE STORY OF OPAL 109
one. On its arms there was bunches of mistletoe. I
made a stop to have looks at them. I had thinks I
might reach up to them. I stood on tiptoe on the
back of William Shakespeare. I could reach a reach
to one limb. I put my arms around it and had a
swing. It was very nice to swing one forward and
two back again.
But when I was ready to stand on William
Shakespeare again, he was not there. I looked a
look down and about. He was gone on a little way.
I had wonders what to do. There was most too
many rocks to drop down on. Lars Porsena came
and perched on the limb above. I did call William
Shakespeare four times, and in between I called
him by the bird-call that does mean I have needs of
him. He did come and he made a stop under the
limb. I was most glad. My arms did have a queer
feel from hanging there. I was real glad just to sit
quiet on the back of William Shakespeare while he
did walk on. And Lars Porsena of Clusium did sit
We went on. We had seeing of the section men
working on the railroad track where the dinky
engine goes with the cars of lumbers to the mill
town. They were making stoop-overs. I had seeing
they did screwtineyes the rails and the ties they
stay upon. The men did wave their hands to us,
and I did wave back, and on the fence there was a
bird with a yellow and a little black moon across
his front. His back it was like the grasses of the
no THE STORY OF OPAL
field grown old. And his song is the song of all the
voices of the field. We have seeing of him and his
brothers all days of the year.
After we had going past the next turn in the road
I did look a look back. A little bush with some
tallness was yet a-nodding. It was asking a ques-
tion. I gave William Shakespeare two pats on the
shoulder. That means turn about. He did. When
we were come to the bush a-nodding, I leaned over
to the tallness of it. I put my ear close so I could
have hearing. It had wants to know what day this
was. I did tell it this day was the going-away day
of John of Gaunt and the borning day of Felix
Mendelssohn in 1809. It had hearings, but it did
not stop nodding. But it was asking no questions.
It was nodding nods of the day this is. I felt the
satisfaction feels it did feel when it did know the
answer to its question. I do too have likes to ask
questions about things so to have knows.
We went on in a slow way. I did look looks about.
And there were birds robins and two bluebirds
and more larks of the meadow and other crows
like unto Lars Porsena of Clusium. When we was
come to another bend in the road, William Shake-
speare made a stop. I made a slide off. I went to
pick him some grass. A wagon went by. Two
horses were in front of it, and on its high seat was a
man with his hat on sideways and a woman with
a big fascinator most hiding her face. There was
seven children in the wagon two with sleeps upon
THE STORY OF OPAL in
them and a little girl with a tam-o'-shanter and a
frown and a cape on her. I have thinks from the
looks on their faces they all did have wants to get
soon to where they were going to. I brought the
grass back to the road to William Shakespeare. I
smiled a smile and waved to the last little girl of all
on the wagon. She smiled and waved her hand.
Then three more of them waved. I waved some
more. The wagon had its going on, and William
Shakespeare had begins to nibble at the grass I was
holding in my fingers. While he did nibble nibbles
I did tell him poems. William Shakespeare does
have such a fondness for poetry and nibbles of
grass and apples and sugar-lumps.
While we did have waiting at the bend of the
road, I saw a maple tree with begins of buds upon
it. I did walk up to the tree. I put my ear to it to
have listens to the sap going up. It is a sound I like
to hear. There is so much of springtime in it. While
I did listen, in the other ear that was not to the
maple tree I did have hearings of the talkings of the
wind and petite plants just having begins to grow
out of the earth. The wind did say, " Je viens
je viens." The plants did answer make, "Nous
entendons nous entendons." So they did speak.
Then the wind did say, "Le printemps viendra
bientot." And the plants did answer make, "Nous
I did have glad feels. William Shakespeare
moved a little move. I had some doubts if he did
ii2 THE STORY OF OPAL
hear all plainly they did say, so I went up to his
nose and said it all over to him. He had under-
standing. We went on. When we were come again
to a stump, I did climb again upon his back. We
went by a big mill with piles of lumber to its near
side, and a long wide roof it had. There was a row
of lumber-shanties and some more. There was
children about and dogs. They did smile and wave
and I did too. We went on. More fir trees of great
tallness was on either side the road. They did
stretch out their great arms to welcome to us. I
so do love trees. I have thinks I was once a tree
growing in the forest; now all trees are my brothers.
When we were gone a little way on from the very
tall trees, in the sky the light of day was going from
blue to silver. And thoughts had coming down the
road to meet us. They were thoughts from out
the mountains where are the mines. They were
thoughts from the canyons that come down to
meet the road by the riviere. I did feel their com-
ing close about us. Very near they were and all
about. We went on a little way only. We went
very slow. We had listens to the thoughts. They
were thoughts of blooming-time and coming-time.
They were the soul thoughts of little things that
soon will have their borning-time.
When we did go on we did hear little sounds
coming from a long way down the road. They were
like the shoe on the foot of a horse making touches
on the road in a hurry way. The sound, it came
THE STORY OF OPAL 113
more near. We made a stop to have a listen. It was
coming more near gray-light-time and we could not
have plain sees until the horse was come more near
a way down the road. Then we had sees a man was
riding on the horse. They came on in the quick
way that made the little fast patter sounds on the
ground. When he was most come to where we were,
the man did have the horse to go in a more slow
way. When he was come to where we were he did
have the horse to stop. The man upon the horse
was the man that wears gray neckties and is kind
to mice. He did seem most glad that we were on
the road he was on. He did breathe some satisfac-
tion breathes just like Sadie McKibben does when
she finds I have n't broken my bones when I fall out
of a tree. Then he made begins. He said, "The
fairies" And I said, "What?" He said, "The
fairies have left a note on a leaf in the moss-box
by the old log. It was a note for me to go until I find
you and William Shakespeare to bring you home
again before starlight-time."
There was a little fern-plant with the note on the
leaf. He gave them to me. And we came our way
home. Now I have thinks it was God in his good-
ness did send the fairies to leave that fern-note on
the leaf. And William Shakespeare and I were glad
he was come to meet us, for the stars were not and
dark was before we were come home. But the
man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice,
he did have knows of the way of the road by night.
Of Jenny Strong's Visit, its Gladness and its Sadness.
JENNY STRONG is come to visit us. She came in
the morning of to-day. She came on the logging
train. She brought her bags with her. The mamma
did send me to meet her at the meeting of the roads.
The bags, they were heavy to carry, and my arms
got some tired. As we did go along, in-between
times I did look looks at Jenny Strong. There is so
much of interest about her. The gray curls about
her face did have the proper look she wants them
to have. To get that proper look she does them up
on curl-papers. I have seen her so do when she was
come to visit us before. And this morning her
plump cheeks were roses. And all her plumpness
did most fill the gray dresses she was wearing.
Jenny Strong has little ruffles around the neck of
that dress, like the little ruffles that was around the
neck of the man with the glove when Titian made
his picture. Those ruffles on the neck of the gray
dress of Jenny Strong did look like it was their joy
to cuddle up against the back of her black bonnet.
That black bonnet has a pink rosebud on it, and
every time that Jenny Strong does give her head a
nod, that pink rosebud does give itself a nod. It
must be interest to be a pink rosebud on a black
THE STORY OF OPAL 115
bonnet that Jenny Strong wears. When we were
come to the gate Jenny Strong did hold her cape
and her gray dress up in a careful way. She had
blue stockings on, and they was fastened up with
pink ribbons. She went on while I did shut the
gate. I did come after. I could not come after in a
quick way because the bags was heavy. Pretty
soon Jenny Strong did have seeing I was not there
beside her, and she did wait waits for me a little
while, and I did come to where she was.
We went on. The way was dampness near the
singing creek and Jenny Strong did take dainty
steps as we did go along. Lars Porsena of Clusium
did come to meet us. And so came Brave Horatius.
And Lars Porsena of Clusium did perch upon his
back. We went on. The pink rosebud on the black
bonnet of Jenny Strong did nod itself twelve times
as we did go along. When we were come near unto
the house, there was a rooster by our front door.
He was strutting along. He was that same rooster
that I tied a slice of bacon around his neck this
morning because he had queer actions in the
throat. When Jenny Strong saw him strutting
along with the bacon wrapped around his throat,
she did turn her head to the side with a delicate
After Jenny Strong took off her cape and her
black bonnet with the pink rosebud on it, I did
pull the best rocking-chair out in the middle of the
room for her. She sat down in it and she did start
n6 THE STORY OF OPAL
to have talks with the mamma. I did go to teeter
the baby on the bed as the mamma did say for me
to do. Jenny Strong did rock big rocks in that rock-
ing-chair while she did talk. One time she did
almost rock over. She breathed a big breath. Then,
that she might not rock over again, I did put a
stick of wood under the rocker. That helped some.
But, too, it did keep her from rocking. She went on
talking. I went back to the bed to teeter the baby.
While I did teeter the baby I did look looks out the
window. In a bush that I do tie pieces of suet to,
there was a little gray bird with a black cap and his
throat it was black. He was a fluffy ball and he
almost did turn himself upside-down on that
branch. Then he went a go-away. Only a little
way he went. Then he was with more like himself.
They went on together.
By and by the mamma's baby did go to sleep,
and I climbed off the bed and made a start to go to
the nursery. Jenny Strong did ask me where I was
going. I did tell her. She said she thought she
would like to go with me. We did go out the door.
Then I ran a quick run back to get her black bonnet
with the pink rosebud on it. I brought it to her.
She said, being as I did bring it to her, she would
wear it, but she had not in tent chuns to when we
started. She had forgot it. But I did n't have for-
gets. I do so like to see that pink rosebud nod itself.
We went on. We went a little way down the
path. Then I did go aside. Jenny Strong did follow
THE STORY OF OPAL 117
after me. She came over the little logs in a slow
way. I did make stops to help her. The pink rose-
bud on the black bonnet did nod itself fifteen times
on the way. I did count its times. When we were
come to the nursery, first I did show her the many
baby seeds I did gather by the wayside in the fall-
time. I did tell her how I was going to plant them
when come springtime. She did nod her head.
Every time she so did, the pink rosebud on the
black bonnet did nod itself.
After I told her most all about the seeds, I did
show her the silk bags with spider eggs in them.
Then I did show her all the cradles the velvety
caterpillars did make at falltime. I did give her
explainings how butterflies and moths would be
a-coming out of the cradles when springtime was
come. She looked concentration looks at them.
She gave her head some more nods and the pink
rosebud on the black bonnet gave itself some more
nods. I moved on to where the wood-mouse folks
are. I was just going to show her what a nice nose
and little hands Nannerl Mozart has, and what a
velvety mouse Felix Mendelssohn is. When I did
turn about to so do, there was Jenny Strong going
in funny little hops over the logs. She was going in
a hurry way to the house.
I did have a wonder why was it she so went. I
gave Felix Mendelssohn more pats and I put him
in my apron pocket. And Nannerl Mozart did curl
up in the bed I have fixed for her in the nursery.
ii8 THE STORY OF OPAL
Then I did sing a lullaby song to all the wood-
mice in the nursery. And they are a goodly number.
I did sing to them the song La Nonette sings as it
goes on its way to Oise.
Then I did go through the near woods to the
mill by the far woods. I so did go to see the man
that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice.
When he had seeing that I was come by the big
tree, he did say in his gentle way, "What is it,
little one? Is Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus not
well?" "Oh, yes," I said, "he is most well and he
did have likes for that piece of cheese you did give
to him on yesterday. He is a most lovely wood-rat,
and what I have come to tell you about is, we got
company. She has a fondness for pinkness. Her
name is Jenny Strong. And she has a pink rosebud
on her black bonnet and ties her blue stockings up
with pink ribbons."
And then I did ask him if he did not have thinks
a pink ribbon would be nice for Thomas Chatterton
Jupiter Zeus to wear on some days on days when
he goes to cathedral service with me. And, too, I
did tell him how I did have thinks a pink ribbon
would be nice for William Shakespeare and Felix
Mendelssohn and Lars Porsena of Clusium and
The man that wears gray neckties and is kind to
mice did have thinks like my thinks. He did say
for me to go write the fairies about it. And I did.
I did write it on a gray leaf. I put the gray leaf in
THE STORY OF OPAL 119
a moss-box at the end of an old log near unto the
altar of Saint Louis. The man that wears gray
neckties and is kind to mice knows about that
moss-box where I do put letters for the fairies. He
believes in fairies, too. And we talk about them.
He does ask me what I write to them about and
what things I have needs for them to bring. I do
tell him, and when the fairies do leave the things
at the end of the old log, I do take and show them
to the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to
mice. He is so glad. He does believe in fairies, too.
As I did come back through the near woods,
I did stop by some grand fir trees to pray. When
one does look looks up at the grand trees growing
up almost to the sky, one does always have long-
ings to pray. When I did come on, I did hear the
mamma calling. When I was come to the door, she
made me go stand in the corner of the wood-shed.
Soon she came out. She did shut the door tight
behind her. Then she did ask me what for was it I
gave Jenny Strong such a scare, and she did spank
me most hard. Now I have sore feels and I have
thinks it would be nice to have a cushion to sit on.
And I do have wonders what it was Jenny Strong
got scares about. I think grown-ups are queer
When I did go into the house, all the scares was
gone off Jenny Strong. The mamma soon did make
me to go under the bed. Here I print. Jenny
Strong sits by the fire. She does sit in a rocking-
120 THE STORY OF OPAL
chair with her feet propped up on a soap-box. She
hums as she sits. She crochets as she hums. She
does make lace in a quick way.
Now Jenny Strong and the mamma is gone to
the house of Elsie to see the new baby. When she
did go, the mamma did tell me to put the baby to
sleep. I so did. I did sing it to sleep in the rocking-
chair. I did sing it the Riviere and Fleuve song: " A
is for Adour, Avre, Ain, Aube, Arroux, and Allier."
When I did get to "D is for Douze and Dordogne
and Durance," the baby did move its arm. When
I did get to "G is for Garonne and Gers and Gard,"
the baby did open its eyes. When I did get to "I
is for Indre, and Isere and Iraouaddy," it did close
its eyes. I did sing on. And sleeps did come upon
We had lots on the table to eat to-night, because
Jenny Strong is come. And most everything I did
get to eat I did make divides of it for my animal
friends. They will all have a good share. And they
will be glad. There is enough for all to have a
good amount to eat, which often is n't. I did feel
a goodly amount of satisfaction sitting there at
the supper-table to-night for a little time. I was
thinking how glad the mice will be for the corn I
have saved for them; and too Brave Horatius will
have good feels in his mouth when he sees that
big bone. And the birds will like all the scraps that
are on the plate of Jenny Strong if I can get them
before the mamma gives them to that big gray cat.
THE STORY OF OPAL 121
I have seeings that the folks, they are almost
through eating. I now am not at the table. I was
only there for a very little while. I now am under
the bed. The mamma did send me away from the
table it seems a long time ago. She did send me
away from the table because when Jenny Strong
asked me if I liked her dress, I said, "Yes, and the
ruffles around your neck are like the ruffles around
the neck of the man with the glove, when Titian
made his picture." Jenny Strong looked a queer
look and she said to the mamma, "What a naughty
child!" The mamma did straightway tell me to
crawl under the bed and to stay there. I so am. I
have feels Jenny Strong has not had seeing of the
picture of the man with the glove that Titian did
make. I thought it was nice to tell her her ruffles
were like his. They did look so nice.
I have wonders about folks. They are hard to
understand. I think I will just say a little prayer.
My, I do have such hungry feels now. They at the
table are not through yet. I make swallows down
my throat. It is most hard not to eat what I have
saved for my animal friends. But they will like it
so I can wait waits until breakfast-time. I can.
In-between times I will have thinks and prayers.
Of the Woods on a Lonesome Day, and the Friendliness of the
Wood-Folks on December Days when you Put your Ears
Close and Listen.
THIS day it was a lonely day. I did have
longings all its hours for Angel Mother and Angel
Father. In-between times all day at school I did
print messages for them on gray leaves I did gather
on the way to school. I did tell on the leaves the
longings I was having. Too, on the leaves I did tell
of William Shakespeare and our talks as we do go
walking down the lane, and the poetry I do tell him
in the manger. And I did print on more leaves how
I do read out of the books they did make how I
do sit in the manger and read what is in them, and
he does have understandings. And on other leaves
I did tell them as how the nose of Thomas Chatter-
ton Jupiter Zeus that was soreness has now well
feels with prayers and mentholatum that Sadie
McKibben did give, and as how the head-ache
of the most big rooster has now well feels with
camphoratum and vaselineatum; and as how the
stomach-ache of Aphrodite did get well feels with
caster oilatum that Sadie McKibben did give. And
after, I did tell of how on many days in gray-light-
time I have had going on searches for the kisses of
Angel Father, what he did tell me to keep watches
THE STORY OF OPAL 123
for in the fleurs while he was away gone to the far
lands. And on more leaves I did tell them as how
Peter Paul Rubens that was is not now, and how
I do carry about with me the little bell he always
did wear in the cathedral.
And when these leaves were so done, I did not
go on for a time little. For a little time I did have
thinks. And the thinks I did have they were
about the glad song. The glad song in my heart
sings not bright to-day. It is lonesome feels I have.
But I do try to have thinks as how I can bring
happiness to folks about. That is such a help when
lonesome feels do come. Angel Mother did say,
"Make earth glad, little one that is the way to
keep the fire-tongue of the glad song ever in your
heart. It must not go out." I so do try to keep it
there. I so do try, for it is helps on" cold days and
old days. And I did have remembers as how it was
Angel Mother did say, "When one keeps the glad
song singing in one's heart then do the hearts of
So I did make hard swallows to swallow all the
lonesome feels, and I did have thinks as how I
would stop to get water-cress for the mamma on
the way home from school. She does have such a
fondness for it. And too she does have longings for
singing lessons. I am saving my pennies to buy her
one. All the pennies that the man that wears gray
neckties and is kind to mice does give to me I save.
I put them in the corner of the wood-shed where
i2 4 THE STORY OF OPAL
Brave Horatius sleeps at nig-ht. I think I have most
enough pennies to buy her a singing lesson now. I
have nineteen pennies. And when I grow up I am
going to buy her a whole rain-barrel full of singing
And then I did have thinks as how to-morrow I
will be taking Elizabeth Barrett Browning to visit
the girl who has no seeing. They do both have
likings for one another. The girl who has no seeing
has an understanding soul. All my friends do have
appreciations of the pats she does give to them and
the words she does say. And sometimes a goodly
number of them do have goings to her house with
me. That is when her folks are not at home. Then
does Elizabeth Barrett Browning walk right by
my side up to the door. And Thomas Chatterton
Jupiter Zeus cuddles up in my arms, and in my
pockets do ride other folks and Brave Horatius
When we are come, she does smooth back my
curls and give me a kiss. She says when we are
come, "Here is come the kingdom of heaven." I
have feels she has mistakes about that, because the
kingdom of heaven, being up in the sky, is there
beyond the stars. And when we are come, she does
have asking about the voices. And I do help her to
get understandings of the thoughts growing with the
fleurs and the trees and the leaves. And I do tell
her as how those are God's thoughts growing right
up out of the earth. And she wants to know more.
THE STORY OF OPAL 125
Always she does ask for more. To-morrow we will
go Elizabeth Barrett Browning and me we
will go the way that does lead to the house of the
girl that has no seeing.
To-day, after I did have thinks about it in
school, I did print more messages on leaves for
Angel Father and Angel Mother. I did tell them
about the girl who has no seeing. And on more
leaves I did print all about the cathedral and how
the presence of Saint Louis is always near unto it.
And then it was come time for school to let out.
I went adown the road. I went the way by the
field where Aidan of lona come from Lindisfarne
was on yesterday. I climbed the fence. I looked
looks about. He was not there to-day. But there
were Bede of Jarrow and Felix of Croyland. I did
have talks with them. I went on. I went on to the
singing creek where the willows grew. I gathered
water-cress for the mamma. Then I did go my way
to the house we live in. No one was there. I put
the water-cress for the mamma on the cook table.
Then I did bring much wood in and put it in the
wood-box back of the kitchen stove.
After the chickens did have their supper feed, I
did go into the near woods. I so went to tie the
messages I did print on gray leaves to the trees.
And I tied one on one tree and one on another. I
tied them there that they may go in thoughts to
Angel Mother and Angel Father up in heaven
there. And I did have thinks when the angels come
126 THE STORY OF OPAL
to walk in the near woods they would see and carry
them on. And I did say a little prayer every time
I did tie on a leaf-message.
I did look looks about. This woods is gray in
winter when come cold days. And gray shadows
walk among the trees. They touch one's face with
velvet fingers when one goes walking there in the
woods. In the winter old gray leaves grow to look
like lace. They are very beautiful. As I did go
along, I saw many gray rocks. Some gray rocks
had gray and green patches on them. Some of
these patches had ruffles all around their edges.
The gray patches on gray rocks are lichens. My
Angel Father said so. Lichen folks talk in gray
tones. I think they do talk more when come win-
ter days. I hear their voices more in December than
I do hear their voices in July and June time. Angel
Father did show me the way to listen to lichen
voices. Most grown-ups don't hear them at all. I
see them walk right by in a hurry sometimes.
And all the time the lichen folks are saying things.
And the things they say are their thoughts about
the gladness of a winter day. I put my ear close to
the rocks and I listen. That is how I do hear what
they are saying. Then I do take a reed for a flute.
I climb on a stump on the most high stump that
is near. I pipe on the flute to the wind what the
lichens are saying. I am piper for the lichens that
dwell on the gray rocks, and the lichens that cling
to the trees grown old.
Of Works to be Done; and how it Was that a Glad Light Came
into the Eyes of the Man who Wears Gray Neckties and Is
Kind to Mice.
MORNING works is done and some more
already too. There is enough barks in for to-day
and to-morrow. And many kindlings are now in
on the floor by the big wood-box. I have had my
dinner at the noontime and I went into the barn.
There were little sad sounds in the stall. It was the
moos of Mathilde Plantagenet. Now I have thinks
her moos were moos for some dinner at noontime.
She has breakfast at morningtime and supper she
has at gray-light-time. But when noontime is
come, Mathilde Plantagenet is here in the barn,
and her mother, the most gentle Jersey cow, is
away out in the pasture. I have thinks there is
needs for me to take Mathilde Plantagenet from
the barn to the pasture at noontimes so she may
have her dinner. I go now to so do.
I did give the latch of the barn-door a slip back.
Then I led Mathilde Plantagenet out by the little
rope I did use to use to lead Elizabeth Barrett
Browning out by when she was a little calf. We
went our way to the pasture-bars. I did give to one
a push, and it made a drop down. Then I gave two
more pushes, and they went drop downs. We went
128 THE STORY OF OPAL
on through in between. It took a more long time to
fix up the pasture-bars. They have so heavy feels
when I go to put them back again. When I did
have them so put, we made a go-on. We went a
little way on. We did not have goes far, for the
gentle Jersey cow had sees of our coming and she
came to meet us. We was glad to have it so. I
have thinks Mathilde Plantagenet did have most
joy feels about it. She did start to get her dinner
from her mother in a quick way. I watched her
suck and suck some more. Seeing her have her
dinner from her mother a long time before supper-
time did make me to have such a big amount of
The grandpa felt not so. There was disturbs on
his temper. He was at our house when I was come
home from leading Mathilde Plantagenet hack to
the barn after she had sucked her mother a long
time. The mamma did spank me some and some
more. Now I have wonders why was it the grandpa
felt not satisfaction feels at Mathilde Plantagenet
having her dinner near noontime just like most all
After the mamma did spank me, she told me
more works to do, and she went with her father to
the ranch-house to see her mother that was newly
come back from the mill town where she did go
early on this morning.
When the more works was done, I went in a
quick soft way to the woods. I made little hops
over the bushes the little bushes as I did go
THE STORY OF OPAL 129
along. I went along the path until I came near
unto the way that does lead to the big old log where
is the moss-box. I hid behind a tree when I was
almost come there. I so did to wait a wait to see if
the fairies were near about. I had not seeing of one
about the moss-box.
I looked looks about. I looked looks about the
old root by the log. It turned a big piece of bark
over. Under it was something between two layers
of moss tied up with a pink ribbon. I felt glad feels.
When I did untie the pink ribbon around the moss,
there was lots more of pink ribbons. They did
have little cards, and the little card on a nice long
piece of pink ribbon said, "For Thomas Chatterton
Jupiter Zeus." Another card on a more long piece
did say, " For William Shakespeare." Another card
on a more short piece did say, "For Lars Porsena
of Clusium." And there was a ribbon for Brave
Horatius and Isaiah and Elizabeth Barrett Brown-
ing and for Mathilde Plantagenet, and there was
I did take them all in my arms and I did go to
the mill in the far woods. I so went to show all
those pretty pink ribbons to the man that wears
gray neckties and is kind to mice. I did show him
all the cards that was on them. He was glad. I had
seeing of the glad light in his eyes. He and I we
do believe in fairies. Near him to-day was working
the man of the long step that whistles most all of
the time. He is a man with an understanding soul.
When Brave Horatius did get his leg hurt the other
130 THE STORY OF OPAL
day, this man did wash it and mentholatum it, and
he wrapped his handkerchief in rounds around it.
Brave Horatius has likes for him, too.
To-day, when I did show to the man that wears
gray neckties and is kind to mice all the pink
ribbons the fairies did bring, he did say he thought
the other man would like to see Brave Horatius's
new pink ribbon that he was going to wear to
cathedral service come a Sunday. And he did have
likes to see it. When I told him how it was brought
by the fairies to the moss-box by the old log, he
said, "By jolly that's fine." And the man that
wears gray neckties and is kind to mice gave me
pats on the head, and I brought the ribbons back
to a box where I do keep things in the woods.
I went on. When I was come to the house we
live in, I had sees the mamma was come back.
When I was come into the house, I had sees with
her the mamma brought back a little bottle it
is called china-mending glue guaranteed to stick.
That sounds great. I believe that bottle is quite a
blessing. It has an interest look. It will be of much
use in many ways. I'm glad the mamma set it on
the lamp-shelf, because I can climb on the stove
and reach up to the shelf.
Now I go to talk with the willows where Nonette
flows. I am going to tell them about this being the
borning day of Queen Elizabeth of York, in 1465.
Then I am going goes to tell William Shakespeare
and Lars Porsena of Clusium about it.
How Opal Pays One Visit to Elsie and Another to Dear Love,
and Learns how to Mend her Clothes in a Quick Way.
THE nipple on Elsie's baby's milk-bottle has not
stay-ons. It has had come-offs a lot of times to-day.
The last time it did come off, Elsie did say, " I wish
it would stick tight this time." I was standing by
with the bacon she was sending back that she did
borrow from the mamma. When I did hear her
express her wish, I did tell her I had knows of a
way to make that nipple stick tight on the baby's
milk-bottle. She said, "That's nice I don't
know of a way." Inside me I had feels she ought
to have knows of a way now that her babies are
two. But I had sees how it was she had not knows
of a way; on her lamp-shelf back of the stove there
is no bottle of china-mending glue guaranteed to
stick. I looked looks up to the shelf and there was
She had asks for me to show her the way. I told
her it was as I would have to go first to the house
we live in. I so went in a quick way. The mamma
was not in. I put the bacon on the cook-table.
Then I made a climb up on the stove to get the
bottle of china-mending glue. I most fell off the
stove, but I'did n't. If I did, I might have broke
132 THE STORY OF OPAL
the bottle of china-mending glue guaranteed to
stick. That would have been a cal lamb of tea.
When I was come to the house of Elsie, she had
askings what was she to do. I told her to go in the
bedroom and shut her eyes while her wish came
true. She rilled the baby's bottle that used to be a
brandy bottle with warm milk. She gave it and the
nipple to me, and she went into the bedroom to
wait waits for her wish to come true. A little time
it took. I had to have carefuls, so there would n't
be glue in top of the bottle too. I made it in a nice
ring around the top. Then I put some more china-
mending glue guaranteed to stick in a ring around
the edge of the nipple. That fixed it. When I put
it on, I had knows it would stick.
I put the china-mending glue in my pocket, and
when I did say, " It is fixed ! " Elsie did come. I felt
a big amount of satisfaction. It is nice to help
people to have what they wish for. It was as Elsie
did have wishes for it to be. When I did hand it to
her, she did have askings how was she going to have
it stick on on other days when I was not there to
make it so do. She did have asks how did I do it.
I told her it was n't me it was the china-mend-
ing glue guaranteed to stick. That was what did it.
She had a spell of cough. It came in a sudden
way upon her while I was telling her what it was
that made the nipple stick like she had wishes for
it to. I had not knows in the morning of this day
she had a cold. Whenever she does have a cold or
THE STORY OF OPAL 133
feels of a one coming, she does send in a quick way
for her mother. And her mother does come. She
comes down the road that goes up to the mines.
She has not come yet. And it's an awful cough
Elsie did have then, and tears in her eyes.
When she did get better of the cough, I did give
more explains how she could always make the
nipple stick on tight on the baby's bottle by keep-
ing there on her lamp-shelf a bottle of mending
glue guaranteed to stick. She started to have
coughs again and I gave her some pats on the back,
like I have seen a man by the mill by the far woods
pat his brother on the back. The pats on the back
did help her some. When she had coughs no more,
I went out the door. She stepped out on her back
steps. She gave my curls a smooth back and told
me thanks for making her wish come true. And
she told me more thanks for the in form ashun
about how to make the nipple stick on the baby's
bottle other times.
When I was come into the house we live in, I had
thinks to go to visit Dear Love. When I did give my
dress a smooth-out, I did have feels of that tear
I got in it yesterday on top the barn door when I
did go to talk with Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael.
That was not a little tear. It was quite a big one.
I had thinks it might get some more tear if I did
not mend it. I got a patch. It was almost like the
dress. It was a piece of a piece that was left when
the mamma did make for her baby a jacket of
134 THE STORY OF OPAL
light blue outing flannel. The patch of light blue
looked nice on my dark blue calico dress, and the
patch did have a soft feel. I mended it onto my
dress with china-mending glue guaranteed to stick.
Mending it that way saves so much time. It is
quicker than mending it with a needle and thread
in the regular way.
Then I went to get the cap of the husband of
Dear Love. The husband of Dear Love has given
me one of his old caps to carry some of my pets in.
Sometimes caterpillars do ride in it black and
brown ones that do roll up in a ball and sleep the
all of the time that I have them out for a walk.
And sometimes Felix Mendelssohn and Nannerl
Mozart and Louis II, le Grand Conde, do all ride
in it. It is a nice warm place for them to ride when
we do go on winter walks. But mostly Louis II, le
Grand Conde, has prefers to ride in the sleeves of
my warm red dress.
Sometimes Brave Horatius does wear this cap
that was the cap of the husband of Dear Love.
It so was to-day when Brave Horatius and I did go
to visit Dear Love; Brave Horatius did wear the
cap of her husband. I put little pink-ribbon strings
on it, and I did tie them under his chin in a nice
way. He was very quiet while I did so do, and his
being quiet did help me to get them tied in a nice
way. He is such a lovely dog. And he does have
appreciations for all the things I do for him. When
I did have that cap tied on in a nice way, he did
THE STORY OF OPAL 13$
bark a joy bark, and he gave his tail three wags,
and we did start to go to the house of Dear Love.
As we did go along I did make stops to look for
cones and to get a piece of long moss. I put them
in my pocket. I put them there for the girl who has
no seeing. She has likes for the things I bring her to
feel. She says she has likes to have them near her
in the house she does live in. So most every day I
do find something for her, so she can have joy with
its feels. She so does like pine-needles. I did gather
for her my little basket full of pine-needles under
the most tall pine tree of all.
We went on. Little blue fleurs are early blooming
now, before the oak and maple trees have yet their
leaves. I do so like blue. It is glad everywhere.
When I grow up I am going to write a book about
the glads of blue and about the dauphinelle and
lin and cornette and nigelle and herbe-de-la-trinite .
We made more stops to tell the willows by Non-
ette about this day being the borning day of Galileo
in 1564 and the going-away day of Michael Angelo
in 1564. And I did say another little thank prayer
to God for their borning. This morning we did have
prayers of thanks in the cathedral for the works
they did on earth. And Elizabeth Barrett Brown-
ing was there and Brave Horatius and most of the
rest of us, except Louis II, le Grand Conde.
When we were come to the house of Dear Love,
the husband of Dear Love was making for her a
chair. He was putting much work on all the little
i 3 6 THE STORY OF OPAL
pieces. He did make all little rough places to have
much smoothness. He so did with tools out of a
tool-box he does keep in the kitchen of their little
house. When he is not having uses of the tools in
the tool-box, then the tool-box has its lid down and
it is a seat to sit on. Sometimes on rainy days
when I do take Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus to
visit Dear Love, we all do sit on the tool-box and
Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus does allow Dear
Love to give him gentle pats on his nice white paws.
He does have such beautiful ones. To-day he did
have allows for her to pat his paws while we did sit
on a little bench.
Dear Love had thinks the appears of the cap of
her husband on the head of Brave Horatius was
very nice. And the husband of Dear Love did say
the pink ribbons now on his cap made it a better-
looking cap. I had thinks so, too. Before I did
have comes back to the house we live in, Dear Love
did get out a piece of calico just like my dress.
Then she cut out the light blue patch that I did
mend on with china-mending glue guaranteed to
stick. She did sew on the blue calico patch in a nice
way. She so did because she thought the light blue
patch of outing flannel would be nice for a crib-
robe for Felix Mendelssohn.
While Dear Love was sewing that blue calico
patch on my blue calico dress with little stitches,
her husband did smile and look at her and he did
say, "Another reason." Now I have thinks the
THE STORY OF OPAL 137
other reason was that he had fears if I longer wore
that light blue patch of outing flannel on my dress,
some of its soft feels would get wored off and would
n't be there for the joys of Felix Mendelssohn. He
is a mouse that has likes for soft feels to go to
Of the Camp by the Mill by the Far Woods; of the Spanking
that Came from the New Way of Mending Clothes; and of
the Long Sleep of William Shakespeare.
THE papa is again come home from one of the
upper camps one of those by the riviere. I had
seeing of him when I went to look for Lucian Horace
Ovid Virgil under the front step. He said he was
going to make early garden. He said he thought he
would set some onions out and plant some radishes
and some seeds that will grow into lettuce. I did
make a stop to help him. He said for me to carry
off the rocks where he did make spade-ups. I did.
I picked up the rocks in a quick way. I carried
them a little way away by the brook. When sum-
mertime is come, I have thinks I will put them in
the brook with some more to make the brook have
more wideness. And the man of the long step that
whistles most all of the time has made me a water-
wheel to go rounds in the brook when summertime
The time it took to pick up those rocks it was
a time long. I did like to do it. I had thinks it
would be of helps to the papa. After they was all
picked up and carried over by the brook, I did go
to the papa to see what more helps I could be. He
was talking with the husband of Elsie. When I did
THE STORY OF OPAL 139
ask him what helps I could be, he told me to run
away from there he wanted to talk.
I so did. I got Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus,
and we went to the woods. Brave Horatius did
come a-following after. And Louis II, le Grand
Conde, did ride in the sleeve of my warm red dress.
As we did go along, the leaves of salal did make
little rustles. They were little askings. They had
wants to know what day this was. I made stops
along the way to tell them it was the going-away
day of Gentile Bellini in 1507 and Sir Joshua
Reynolds in 1792 and John Keats in 1821 and the
horning day of George Frederick Handel in 1685.
I have thinks they and the tall fir trees were glad
Brave Horatius barked a bark and we went on.
He looked a look back to see if we was coming.
Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus did cuddle up
more close in my arms. We saw six birds and I did
sing to Brave Horatius the bird song of grandpere
of roitelet and ortolan and bruant and etourneau and
rossignol and tourterelle and durbec and orfraie
and roussettt and loriot and nonnette and sarcelle and
draine and epeiche and cygne and hirondelle and aigle
and ramier and tarin and rousserolle and emerillon
and sittelle. Brave Horatius and William Shake-
speare do have likes for that song. Sometimes I
bo sing it to them four times a day.
We all did go on until we were come near to
where were two men of the mill by the far woods.
THE STORY OF OPAL
They were making divides of a very large log. They
were making it to be many short logs. There
was a big saw going moves between. One man
did push it and one man did pull it. I went on.
I did look a look back. I had sees there was a
tall fern growing by the foot of one man, and he
did have his new overalls cut off where they do
meet the boots. I wonder why it is the lumber-
camp folk do cut off their overalls where they do
meet the boots. When they so cut them, they get
fringy and such fringes are more long than other
fringes. I wonder why it is they so cut them it
maybe is because they so want fringes about the
edge of the legs of their overalls. I would have
prefers for ruffles.
We did go on. We went a little way on, and we
had sees of more folks of the camp by the mill by
the far woods. I did make a climb upon an old
tree-root to have sees of them at work. Brave
Horatius made a jump up, and he came in a walk
over to where me and Thomas Chatterton Jupiter
Zeus were sitting. We had seeing of them all work-
ing. I have thinks the folks that live in the lumber
camps they are kindly folk. When they come
home from work at eventime, I do so like to sit on
a stump and watch them go by. They come in twos
and threes. They do carry their dinner-pails in
their hands. And some do whistle as they come.
And some do talk. And some that do see me sitting
on the stump do come aside and give to me the
THE STORY OF OPAL 141
scraps in their dinner-pails. Some have knowing
of the needs I do have for scraps in the nursery and
the hospital. And too, when they come home from
work in the far woods, the men do bring bits of
moss and nice velvet caterpillars and little rocks.
Some do. And these they give to me for my nature
collections. And I feel joy feels all over. Brave
Horatius does bark joy barks. He does know and
I do know the folks that live in the lumber camps
they are kindly folks.
Morning is glad on the hills. I hear a song like
unto the song of the verdier. The sky sings in blue
tones. The earth sings in green. I am so happy.
The mamma is gone for a visit away. Before her
going she did set me to mind the baby. I do so.
In between times I print, and I do spell over and
over the words in my two books Angel Father and
Angel Mother did make. I sing-song the letters
of the words when I go adown the road. So I do
when I am in the house when the mamma is n't at
home. I do not so when she is at home, because
she won't let me.
Now Elizabeth Barrett Browning is calling me
out in the pasture. I expect she wants an apple or
a sugar-lump. But I cannot have goes out there to
the pasture because the mamma did say for me to
mind the baby and mind the house. I sing to the
baby words out of the two books and the song
about Iraouaddy and the bird-song of grandpere.
i 4 2 THE STORY OF OPAL
And I have minded the house as the mamma did
say for me to do. First I swept the floors in a care-
ful way. The broom made bobby moves. That
broom in my hands makes not moves like the moves
it does make in the hands of the mamma. It has so
much of tallness. I look looks up its handle. And
afterwards I did the windows a wash up and down
with a cloth that did have bon ami on it. When
the windows do get dirt on them it is quite a worry
on the mamma's mind. She so likes to have all
things clean. I have thinks maybe she will have
some glad feels way down in her heart where one
cannot see them when she is come home and has
seeing of the windows made clean.
And more helps I have done. Most every week
there is patches to fix on clothes that have needs of
them. Patching is quite a worry on the mamma's
mind. It will be so no more. I have found a better
way. While she was gone away to-day I did get all
the week's patching done. First I began on the
papa's undershirt. It needed a big patch on the
elbow. The mamma had cut out the patch and
pinned it there on the sleeve near unto the hole.
I patched it on with china-mending glue guaran-
teed to stick.
Then I did do all the other patching that was in
the basket. It did take most all the china-mending
glue. When I did see it was most all gone, I did
have remembers of that kettle that I have heard
the mamma say she has wishes its lid would stick
on tight. It is always a-coming off. I did fix that
THE STORY OF OPAL 143
lid on that kettle so it will stay as tight as the
mamma has wishes for it to. And then I did put
the bottle that used to be full of china-mending
glue back in its place on the lamp-shelf.
The baby had wake-ups and I did sing it to sleep.
When sleeps was come upon the baby, the mamma
did come in the door. First she went to look upon
her dear baby sleeping there on the bed. She said
now she was going to mend those two mush-dishes.
And she got the pieces of them from the cupboard.
She put them on the cook-table. And then the
mamma went to get the china-mending glue guar-
anteed to stick. There was none in the bottle. I
knew where it was gone. The mamma knew too.
After she did spank for some long time, she did ask
me what I did with all that glue. It took quite
some time to tell her about Elsie's baby's bottle
that she had wishes for the nipple to stick on tight,
and about all the patches the china-mending glue
did fix, and all the other things that it did fix.
When I got to the end she did spank me again.
She said that was to be good on. Now I do think
it was real kind of her to tell me what that last
spanking was for. Most times I don't know what I
get spanked for. And I do like to know, because if
I did have knows what I was spanked for, I'd be
real careful about doing what it was again, if it was
not helping folks of the fields and woods. I have
to do that no matter how many spanks I do get for
it. But there is so much joy in the woods and does
help spank feels to hurt not so much. Now I think
144 THE STORY OF OPAL
I will go feed the folks in the nursery, and then I
will go to have vesper service in the cathedral.
Most all this afternoon-time I have been out in
the field the one that is nearest unto the woods.
I have been having talks with William Shakespeare.
To-day he is not working in the woods with the
other horses. He is having a rest-day. He was
laying down near unto one of the altars I have
builded for Saint Louis. He did lay there all the
afternoon. Tiredness was upon him. I gave his
nose rubs, and his neck and ears, too. And I did
tell him poems and sing him songs. He has likes for
me to so do. After I did sing him more, sleeps did
come upon him. The breaths he did breathe while
he was going to sleep, they were such long breaths.
And I gave unto him more pats on the nose and
pats on the neck. We are chums William Shake-
speare and me. This evening I will come again to
wake him. I'll come just before suppertime, so he
may go in with the other horses to eat his supper
in the barn.
I did. Sleeps was yet upon him. He looked so
tired lying there. I went up to pet his front leg,
but it was stiff. I petted him on the nose and his
nose it was so cold. I called him, but he did not
answer. I said again, "William Shakespeare, don't
you, hear me calling?' 1 but he did not answer. I
have thinks he is having a long rest so he will have
ready feels to pull the heavy poles on to-morrow. I
THE STORY OF OPAL 145
now go goes to tell the man that wears gray neck-
ties and is kind to mice about William Shake-
speare having all this rest-day and how he has
sleeps in the field with the pink ribbon around his
neck that the fairies did bring. Thomas Chatterton
Jupiter Zeus is going goes with me. We will wait
on the stump by that path he does follow when he
comes home from work at eventime.
We are come back. The man that wears gray
neckties and is kind to mice did go with us to see
William Shakespeare having his long sleep there in
the field by the altar of Saint Louis. Now I do
have understanding. My dear William Shake-
speare will no more have wake-ups again. Rob
Ryder cannot give him whippings no more. He has
gone to a long sleep a very long sleep. He just
had goes because tired feels was upon him. I have
so lonesome feels for him, but I am glad that Rob
Ryder cannot whip him now no more. I have
covered him over with leaves. To find enough, I
went to the far end of the near woods. I gathered
them into my apron. Sometimes I could hardly see
my way because I just could not keep from crying.
I have such lonesome feels. William Shakespeare
did have an understanding soul. And I have knows
his soul will not have forgets of the willows by the
singing creek. Often I will leave a message there on
a leaf for him. I have thinks his soul is not far
gone away. There are little blue fleurs a-blooming
where he did lay him down to sleep.
Of the Little Song-Notes that Dance about Babies; and of the
Solemn Christening of Solomon Grundy.
TO-DAY was wash-day come again. After I did
do my parts of the washing, I did go to feed the folks
in the nursery. When I was come back again, I did
start to make things out of clay. I was making
vases out of clay when the mamma called me to
come empty the wash-water. There were two tubs
full of water. That's an awful lot of water to
empty. But I carry it out in the wash-pan. And
wash-pansfull of water are not so much water at a
time, but they soon empty the tub.
Then the mamma did have me to weed onions.
There were an awful lot of weeds trying to grow up
around those onions. It took a very long time to
pull all the weeds. And my back did get some tired
feels, but I did get those weeds pulled out. I have
thinks the onions were saying, when the wind did
rustle them, "We thank you for the more room
we now have got to grow in." Folks growing in a
garden do say interest things.
From the onion garden I did go to the Jardin des
Tuileries. I so did go to have a little service there,
for this is the borning day of Charles de Valois in
1270, and the going-away day of Saint Gregoire in
604. Felix Mendelssohn did ride in my pocket to
THE STORY OF OPAL 147
service. He did sleep most of the time, though. I
did begin to sing by the two little trees I have
planted, for Saint Gregoire I and Charles de Valois.
I first did sing, "Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus, Dom-
inus Deus, Hosanna in excelsis." While I was
singing, Brave Horatius and Lars Porsena of
Clusium came. They did wait while I did sing two
more songs. Then I said a long prayer and a little
Afterwards we did start to go along the path.
We went a little way. Then I did go aside. I went
aside to the house of Elsie, to see the new baby. It
was sleeping in its cradle that the husband of Elsie
made out of a box. He put rockers on the box and
Elsie put soft feels in it. After the box did have
rockers on it and soft feels in it, they did take the
baby girl from the cradle and lay her in the bed.
And now everyday, except the day she does go with
her mother Elsie to visit her grandma, the baby
does lay in the cradle. And Elsie does rock the
cradle with her foot while she sews. She sings and
sings. She sings "Rock-a-by baby in the tree-top;
when the wind blows, the cradle will rock." And
while she does sing, I have knowings that the little
song-notes do dance about the cradle of the baby.
To-day I did stay quite a time long to look upon
the face of the baby. I so do love babies. Every
night I pray for the twins I want when I grow up.
Some nights I pray that they may have blue eyes
and golden hair. Other nights I pray for them to
148 THE STORY OF OPAL
have brown eyes and brown hair. Sadie McKibben
tells me I better stop changing my prayers about
so much, or the angels may bring to me when I grow
up twins with streaked hair and variegated eyes.
After I did look upon the little baby at the house
of Elsie, I did have thinks to go to the house of
Sadie McKibben. I so did go. As I did go along, I
did have wonders if mothers can see the little song-
notes that dance about their babies' cradles when
they sing lullaby songs to them. I went on across
the field. When I was come to a stump by the
fence corner, I stopped. I heard a criard noise. It
came from near the stump. I think it was a mulot.
I looked looks about. I had not seeing of it. I
went on. I saw a blue jay near by the old log where
I did hide nineteen acorn children on a gray day in
September. He was looking looks about. I watched
him make a flyaway with one of my acorns. I did
count what = was left. There was only a few.
I went on. When I was come to the house of
Sadie McKibben, she was washing clothes. On
washing days Sadie McKibben does look a bit dif-
ferent from her appears on other days. On wash-
days along in the afternoon her hair does hang in
strings about her face. Her dress does have crin-
kles all adown it. And her nice blue gingham apron
with cross stitches on it does have rumples and
soapy smells. I do know so for I do smell those
soapy smells when I cuddle close to her apron on
THE STORY OF OPAL 149
To-day I did stay by the side of Sadie McKibben
for a little time. Then I did go to weed her onions
for her. They did have looks like they did have
needs for more room to grow in. And while I did
weed her onions, I did see many beautiful things
about. There is so much to see near about and a
little way off, and there is so much to hear. And
most all the time I am seeing, I am hearing, and I
do have such glad feels.
To-day we did christen Solomon Grundy. He
was borned a week ago yesterday on Monday.
That's why we did name him Solomon Grundy.
And this being Tuesday we did christen him, for in
the rhyme, the grandpa does sing to the children
about Solomon Grundy being christened on Tues-
day. Yesterday I made him a christening robe out
of a new dish-towel that was flapping in the wind.
But the aunt had no appreciation of the great need
of a christening robe for Solomon Grundy. And
my ears were slapped until I thought my head
would pop open, but it did n't. It just ached. Last
night when I went to bed I prayed for the ache to
to go away. This morning when I woke up it had
gone out the window. I did feel good feels from my
nightcap to my toes. I thought about the christen-
ing, and early on this morning, before I yet did eat
my breakfast, I went out the window that the
ache went out in the night. I went from the win-
dow to the pig-pen.
ISO THE STORY OF OPAL
I climbed into the pig-pen. I crawled on my
hands and knees back under the shed where he and
his sisters five and his little brother were all hav-
ing breakfast from their mother. I gently did pull
away by his hind-legs, from among all those dear
baby pigs, he who had the most curl in his tail. I
took him to the pump and pumped water on him to
get every speck of dirt off. He squealed because
the water was cold. So I took some of the warm
water the mamma was going to wash the milk-pans
in and I did give him a warm bath in the v/ash-pan.
Then he was the pinkiest white pig you ever saw.
I took the baby's talcum-powder can and I shook
it lots of times all over him. When the powder
sprinkled in his eyes, he did object with a regular
baby-pig squeal. And I climbed right out the bed-
room window with him, because the mamma heard
his squeal and she was coming fast. I did go to the
barn in a hurry, for in the barn yesterday I did hide
the christening robe. When I reached the top of
the hay I stopped to put it on Solomon Grundy.
Then we proceeded to the cathedral.
A little ways we did go, and I remembered how
on the borning day of him I did ask that grand fir
tree, Good King Edward I, to be his god-father.
And that smaller fir tree growing by his side the
lovely Queen Eleanor of Castile I did ask to be
his godmother. We went aside from the path that
leads unto the cathedral. We went another way.
We went adown the lane to where dwell Good King
THE STORY OF OPAL 151
Edward I and the lovely Queen Eleanor. And there
beside them Solomon Grimdy was christened. They
who were present at the christening were these
Saint Louis and Charlemagne and Hugh Capet
and King Alfred and Theodore Roosevelt and
William Wordsworth and Homer and Cicero and
Brave Horatius and Isaiah. These last two did
arrive in a hurry in the midst of the service. Being
dogs with understanding souls, they did realize the
sacredness of the occasion and they stood silent
When we got most to the end of the service just
at that very solemn moment while I was waiting
for Good King Edward I and his lovely Queen
Eleanor of Castile to bestow their blessing upon
the white head of the babe, he gave a squeal just
the kind of a squeal all baby pigs give when they
are wanting their dinner. After the naming of him,
I placed around his neck a little wreath that I
made in the evening yesterday for him. Then I did
sing softly a hymn to the morning and came again
home to the pig-pen with Solomon Grundy.
When I got to the corner of the barn, I pulled off
his christening robe. I did hide it again in the hay.
Then I climbed into the pig-pen. I did say the
Lord's prayer softly over the head of Solomon
Grundy. After I said Amen I did poke him in
among all his sisters and near unto his mother.
Aphrodite gave a grunt of satisfaction, also did
152 THE STORY OF OPAL
I went to the house. I climbed in the window
again. I took off my nightcap and my nightgown.
I did get dressed in a quick way. The little girl was
romping in the bed. I helped her to get her clothes
on. Then we went to the kitchen for our breakfast.
The mamma was in the cellar. She did hear me
come into the kitchen. She came in. With her
came a kindling and a hazel switch.
After she did spank me, she told me to get the
mush for the little girl's breakfast. It was in a
kettle. I spooned it out into a blue dish that came
as premium in the box of mush when they brought
it new from the mill town. After we did eat our
mush and drink our milk, the mamma told me to
clear the table and go tend chickens. I carried feed
to them. I scattered it in shakes. The chickens
came in a quick way. Fifteen of those chickens I
did give names to, but it's hard to tell some of
them apart. Most of them have about the same
number of speckles on them. I counted all the
chickens that were there. There were n't as many
there as ought to be there. Some came not. These
were the hens setting in the chicken-house. I went
in. I lifted them off. They were fidgety and fluffy
and clucky. I did carry them out to the feed.
While they were eating breakfast I counted their
eggs. I made a discovery. Minerva had n't as
many eggs as the others. That meant she would n't
have as many children as the others would have. I
did begin to feel sorry about that, because already
THE STORY OF OPAL 153
I had picked out names for her fifteen children and
there in her nest there were only twelve eggs. I
did n't know what to do, and then I had a think
what to do. I did it. I took an egg from each nest
of the three other setting hens. That fixed things.
Then I thought I would go on an exploration
trip and to the nursery, and there I would give the
folks a talk on geology. But then the mamma called
me to scour the pots and pans. That is something I
do not like to do at all. So all the time I 'm scouring
them I keep saying lovely verses, that helps so
much, and by and by the pots and pans are all
clean. After that all day the mamma did have more
works for me to do. There was more wood to bring
in. There was steps to scrub. There was cream to
be shaked into butter. There was raking to do in
the yard. There was carpet-strings to sew together.
In-between times there was the baby to tend. And
all the time all day long I did have longings to go
on exploration trips. The fields were calling. The
woods were calling. I heard the wind. He was
making music in the forest. It was soft music. It
was low. It was an echo of the songs the flowers
were singing. Even if there was much works to do,
hearing the voices helped me to get the works done
in the way they ought to be done.
The most hurry time of all was the time near
eventime, for there was going to be company to eat
at the table. The mamma was in a hurry to get
supper. So I helped her. She only had time to give
154 THE STORY OF OPAL
one shake of salt to the potatoes, so I gave them
three more. She did not have time to put sauce on
the peas, so I flavored them with lemon extract,
for the mamma is so fond of lemon flavoring in
lemon pies. When she made the biscuits, she was in
such a hurry she forgot to set them on a box back
of the stove for an airing, as usual, before putting
them in the oven. Being as she forgot to do it,
while she was in the cellar to get the butter I did
take the pan of biscuits out of the oven and put
them under the stove so they would not miss their
usual airing. Then I did go to the wood-shed for
more wood. When I did put it in the wood-box the
mamma reached over for me. She jerked me. She
spanked me with her hand and the hair-brush and
the pankcake-turner. Then she shoved me out the
door. She said for me to get out and stay out of her
I came here to the barn. I sit here printing.
In-between times I stretch out on the hay. I feel
tired and sore all over. I wonder for what it was
the mamma gave me that spanking. I have tried
so hard to help her to-day. Solomon Grundy is
grunting here beside me. I went by and got him as
I came along. Here on the hay I showed to him the
writings in the two books my Angel Father and
Angel Mother made for me. These books are such
a comfort, and when I have them right along with me,
Angel Father and Angel Mother do seem nearer.
I did bow my head and ask my guardian angel
THE STORY OF OPAL 155
to tell them there in heaven about Solomon Grundy
being christened to-day. Then I drew him up
closer to my gingham apron and I patted him often.
And some of the pats I gave to him were for the
lovely Peter Paul Rubens that used to be. And the
more pats I gave Solomon Grundy, the closer he
snuggled up beside me. To-night I shall sing to him
a lullaby song as I cuddle him up all snowy white in
his christening robe, before I take him out to his
mother Aphrodite in the pig-pen.
I now have a bottle with a nipple on it for Solo-
mon Grundy. But he won't pay much attention
to it. He has prefers to get his dinner from his
mother Aphrodite out in the pig-pen.
After he so did have his dinner to-day, and after
my morning works were done and I did have that
hen started on a set that hen had wants to set so
much; I did have an awful time getting her off the
nest at feeding-time. I had thinks I would set her
myself, being as the mamma does n't want to bother
about it. I had thinks I would put three eggs under
her to-day, and three more when comes to-morrow,
and three on the next day, and three on the next.
That will give her a good setting of eggs to start on.
To-day, after I so did have her started on a set
with three eggs, then I went to visit Dear Love. I
did cuddle up Solomon Grundy in one arm and
Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus in the other arm.
And so we went to visit Dear Love. Solomon
156 THE STORY OF OPAL
Grundy wore his christening robe and he looked
very sweet in it. I gave him a nice warm bath before
we did start, so as to get all the pig-pen smells off.
Sometimes smells do get in that pig-pen, though I
do give it brush-outs every day, and I do carry old
leaves and bracken ferns and straws in for beds for
Aphrodite. After I did give Solomon Grundy his
bath I did dust talcumatum powder over him. I
was real careful not to get any in his eyes.
As we did go along I did sing to them a lullaby
about Nonette and Saint Firmin, and more I did
sing about Iraoua'ddy. We went on. Then I did
tell them about the beautiful love the man of the
long step that whistles most all of the time does
have for the pensee girl with the far-away look in
her eyes. But he is afraid to tell her about it
Sadie McKibben says he is. Sadie McKibben says
he is a very shy man. Thomas Chatterton Jupiter
Zeus did go to sleeps while I was telling them about
it and Solomon Grundy did grunt a little grunt.
It was a grunt for more sings. So I did sing to
" Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the lamb make thee? "
He had likes for that song and he grunted a grunt
with a question in it. So I did sing him some more,
"Indeed he did, Solomon Grundy, indeed he did.
And the hairs of thy baby head they are num-
bered." Soon I shall be counting them to see how
many they are.
THE STORY OF OPAL 157
We went on to the house of Dear Love. When we
were come to there, the husband of Dear Love was
digging in the ground under the front window of
their little house. As he did dig, he did pick up the
little rocks that were under the window and he did
lay them aside. I did have asks what for was he
digging up the ground under their window. And he
did give explanations. He is making a flower-bed,
and when it is made, Dear Love is going to plant
morning-glory seeds in it. And then morning-glory
vines will grow up around the window. I think that
will be so nice. I did ask him how far up they would
grow. And he reached up his hand to where they
have thinks the morning-glory vines will grow to.
I looked up. It was high up. It was lots more up
than I have growed to. Now I think it would be
nice to be a morning-glory vine and grow up and
up. In the fields I have had seeing that the little
white ones there do grow out and out. I did ask
them how many leaves does the morning-glory
have, that is going to grow up by their window.
They both did say they were sorry but they did not
know. Then I did tell them that they did not need
to have cry feels about it, because when it is grow-
ing up we can learn together how many leaves it
has. And he did stop digging digs, to take Solomon
Grundy in his arms, and Thomas Chatterton
Jupiter Zeus had allows for Dear Love to pet his
How Opal Names Names of the Lambs of Aidan of lona, and
Seeks for the Soul of Peter Paul Rubens.
TO-DAY was a very stormy day more rainy
than other stormy days. So we had cathedral
service on the hay in the barn. Mathilde Plan-
tagenet was below us in her stall, and she did moo
moos while I did sing the choir-service. Plato and
Pliny, the two bats, hung on the rafters in a dark
corner. Lars Porsena of Clusium perched on the
back of Brave Horatius. Thomas Chatterton Jupi-
ter Zeus sat at my feet and munched leaves while I
said prayers. Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil was on my
right shoulder, and Louis II, le Grand Conde, was
on my left shoulder part of the time; then he did
crawl in my sleeve to have a sleep. Solomon Grundy
was asleep by my side in his christening robe, and
a sweet picture he was in it. On my other side was
his little sister, Anthonya Mundy, who has not got
as much curl in her tail as has Solomon Grundy.
Clementine, the Plymouth Rock hen, was late
come to service. She came up from the stall of the
gentle Jersey cow just when I was through singing
"Hosanna in excelsis." She came and perched on
the back of Brave Horatius, back of Lars Porsena
of Clusium. Then I said more prayers, and Brave
Horatius did bark Amen. When he so did, Clem-
THE STORY OF OPAL 159
entine tumbled off his back. She came over by
me. I had thinks it would be nice if her pretty
gray feathers were blue. I gave her a gentle pat and
then I did begin the talk service. I did use for
my text, "Blessed be the pure in heart, for they
shall see God." And all of the time the raindrops
did made little joy patters on the roof. They were
coming down from the sky in a quick way.
Now is the begins of the borning-time of the
year. I did hurry home from school in a quick way
in the afternoon of this day. Aidan of lona come
from Lindisfarne has said I may name the little
lambs that now are coming. All day I did have
thinks about what names to call them by. There
are some names I do so like to sing the spell of.
Some names I do sing over and over again when I
do go on explores. I could hardly wait waits until
school-getting-out time. I had remembers how
Sadie McKibben says no child should grow a day
old without having a name. Now some of those
dear baby lambs are two and three days old since
When I was come to where was Aidan of lona
come from Lindisfarne, I did tell him now I have
come to name all your lambs. He did have one
little lamb in his arms. He did tell me as how it
was it did n't belong to anyone, and it was lone-
some without a mother. He said he had thinks he
would give it to me to mother, I was so happy. It
160 THE STORY OF OPAL
was very white and very soft and its legs was slim
and it had wants for a mother. It had likes for me
to put my arms around it. I did name it first of
all. I called it Menander Euripides Theocritus
Thucydides. It had likes for the taste of my fingers
when I did dip them into the pan of milk on the
rock and then put them in its mouth. Its woolly
tail did wiggle joy wiggles. And I did dance on my
toes. I felt such a big amount of satisfaction feels
having a lamb to mother.
I am getting quite a big family now. After I
did dip my fingers in the milk for Menander Eurip-
ides Theocritus Thucydides, I was going goes to
see about getting a brandy bottle somewhere and
a nipple, so this baby lamb could have a bottle to
nurse like other babies hereabouts. When I did
make a start to go, Aidan of lona come from Lin-
disfarne did say, "You are not going away before
you name the others, are you?' : Of course I was
not, and he said Menander Euripides Theocritus
Thucydides was full up of milk for to-day, and I
could bring his bottle on the morrow.
Then I did make begins to name the other lambs.
They were dear and so dear. First one I did come
to I did name Plutarch Demosthenes; the next one
I did name Marcus Aurelius. And one came close
by Aidan of lona come from Lindisfarne, and I
called it Epicurus Pythagoras. One did look a little
more little than the others : I called him Anacreon
Herodotus. One was more big than all the others.
THE STORY OF OPAL 161
I named him Homer Archimedes Chilon. He gave
his tail a wiggle and came close to his mother. One
had a more short tail and a question look in his
eyes. I called him Sophocles Diogenes. And one
more I called Periander Pindar, and one was Solon
Thales, and the last one of all that had not yet a
name, I did call him Tibullus Theognis. He was a
very fuzzy lamb and he had very long legs.
The shepherd did have likes for the names I did
give to his little lambs, and the names I did give to
his sheep a long time ago. And to-day, when he did
tell me how he did have likes for their names, I did
tell him how I have likes for them too, and how I
have thinks to learn more about them when I do
grow up more tall. I told him how I did sing the
spell of the words to the fishes that live in the sing-
ing creek where the willows grew. After I said
good-bye to all the other lambs, I did kiss Menan-
der Euripides Theocritus Thucydides on the nose.
I have thinks every eventime I will kiss him good-
night, because maybe he does have lonesome feels
too, and maybe he does have longs for kisses like
the longs I do have for them every night-time.
Before I was come to the house we do live in, I
did make a stop by the singing creek where the
willows grow. I did print a message on a leaf. It
was for the soul of William Shakespeare. I tied it
on a willow branch. Then I did go by the cathedral
to say thank prayers for Menander Euripides
Theocritus Thucydides. And I did have remem-
162 THE STORY OF OPAL
bers that this was the going-away day of Reine
Marie Amelie in 1866 and Queen Elizabeth in
1603. And I did say a thank prayer for the good-
ness of them. It was near dark-time. There were
little whispers in the woods and shadows with
velvet fingers. I did sing, "Sanctus, sanctus, sanc-
tus, Dominus Deus."
Before I did come on to the house we live in, I did
go aside to have sees of a cream lily that has its
growing near unto the cathedral. I have watched
the leafing of that lily, and I have watched its
budding. A long time I have had thinks about it.
To-day its blooming-time was come. There it was.
I went close unto it. My soul was full of thank feels.
Ever since the day when Peter Paul Rubens did
go away, I have looked for his soul in tree-tops and
all about. Now I have knows his soul does love to
linger by this lily. I did kneel by it and say a thank
prayer for the blooming of this fleur. Peter Paul
Rubens's soul does love to linger near. If ever I go
from here, I will take with me this lily plant. I did
have feels that my dear Peter Paul Rubens was
very near this eventime.
To-day is more rain come again. I like rain. I
like the music patters it does make, i like to have
feels of it on my head. When it rains, I like to go
barefooted. I like to feel the clean mud by the lane
ooze up between my toes. When I did see the rain
coming down in so fast a way, I did go to the barn.
And after I did have them off, I did put my shoes
THE STORY OF OPAL 163
and stockings in the hay. I went out to talk with
Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael about this day
being the borning day of Sanzio Raphael in 1483.
Then I came down by the lane. I was so glad to
have my shoes and stockings off. The feel was so
good. Having my shoes and stockings off made
my heels feel like they were getting wings.
I went up and down the lane. Brave Horatius
came a-following after. I had thinks to go see how
was Minerva in the hen-house. I saw her feathers
were more fluffy, and there was some more heads
than hers in her nest. There was the heads of the
little chickens I did pick out names for before they
was yet hatched. And now I cannot tell them
apart. Minerva had one baby chicken to hatch
four days ago, and one baby chicken three days
ago, and one more baby chicken two days ago. I
heard the grandpa say it was a puzzle what was
making that hen to have her chickens begin hatch-
ing so soon and then no more to hatch until to-day.
Too, I have thinks it is a puzzle. But any way she
is going to have fifteen chickens, because that day
a little time ago I took one egg each from those
hens that was set before she was, so Minerva would
have the fifteen children I had already picked out
I did tell Minerva again the names I did pick out
for all her children before they was yet hatched. I
told her Edmund Spenser and John Fletcher and
Francis Beaumont and Jean Racine and Sir Walter
Raleigh and Jean Moliere and Sir Francis Bacon
1 64 THE STORY OF OPAL
and Nicholas Boileau and Sir Philip Sidney and
Jean de la Fontaine and Ben Jonson and Oliver
Goldsmith and Cardinal Richelieu and Samuel
Taylor Coleridge and Pius VII. And Minerva had
joy feels when I did tell her, and she ate all the
grain in my hand while I was telling her.
Minerva is a very nice hen and it is so nice she
has so many children at once. I so do like to pick
out names for children. Now I have thinks there is
needs for me to hurry to get those christening robes
done for her children, being as they are hatching
now. On the day of their christening I will carry
them in a little basket to the cathedral. There is
needs to carry little chickens in a basket, for they
are delicate. To-day I did show Minerva the little
cap with ruffles on it that I have just made for her
to wear to the cathedral at their christening. I
made it like Jenny Strong's morning-cap with ruffles
After I did talk some more with Minerva, and
she did chuckle some more chuckles, I did make a
start to go to the cathedral to have a thank service
for the borning of Sanzio Raphael in 1483. As I did
go, I went aside to the pig-pen. Every time my
way goes near to the way that goes to the pig-pen
I do go that way. I so go to take a peep at Aphro-
dite. She does have such a motherly look with those
dear baby-pigs about her. How nice it must be to
be a mother-pig. It must be a big amount of sat-
isfaction, having so many babies at one time.
How Solomon Grundy Falls Sick and Grows Well again; and
Minerva's Chickens are Christened; and the Pensee Girl,
with the Far- Away Look in her Eyes, Finds Thirty-and-
Three Bunches of Flowers.
TO-DAY I went not to school. For a long time
after breakfast the mamma did have me to cut
potatoes into pieces. To-night and to-morrow
night the grown-ups will plant the pieces of pota-
toes I cut to-day. Then by-and-by after some
long time the pieces of potato with eyes on them
will have baby potatoes under the ground. Up
above the ground they will be growing leaves and
flowers. One must leave an eye on every piece of
potato one plants in the ground to grow. It won't
grow if you don't. It can't see how to grow without
its eye. All day to-day I did be careful to leave an
eye on every piece. And I did have meditations
about what things the eyes of potatoes do see there
in the ground. I have thinks they do have seeing
of black velvet moles and large earthworms that
do get short in a quick way. And potato flowers
above the ground do see the doings of the field
and maybe they do look away and see the willows
that grow by the singing creek. I do wonder if
potato plants do have longings to dabble their
toes. I have supposes they do just like I do. Being
1 66 THE STORY OF OPAL
a potato must be interest specially the having
so many eyes. I have longings for more eyes.
There is much to see in this world all about. Every
day I do see beautiful things everywhere I do go.
To-day it was near eventime the time I did
have all those potatoes ready for plants. Then I did
go to see Solomon Grundy in the pig-pen. I did
take a sugar-lump in my apron pocket for his dear
mother, Aphrodite. She had appreciations and
well looks. But the looks of Solomon Grundy
they were not well looks. He did lay so still in a
quiet way. I gave to him three looks. I felt a lump
come in my throat. His looks they were so different.
I made a run for the wood-box the wood-box I
did bring before for the getting-in of Brave Hora-
tius to service in the pig-pen. I did step on it in
getting Solomon Grundy out of the pig-pen. I did
have fears if I did it in jumps, as I always do, the
jumps might bother the feelings of Solomon Grundy.
So I did have needs for that box. It is such a help.
Every time I do get a place fixed in the pig-pen so
some of the pigs can get out to go to walks and to
go to the cathedral service, the grown-ups at the
ranch-house do always fix the boards back again.
So a box is helps to get the little pigs that are n't
too big over the top.
When I did have Solomon Grundy over the top,
I did cuddle him up in my gray calico apron. I
have thinks he does like the blue one best. But
to-day he had not seeings it was n't the blue one I
THE STORY OF OPAL 167
had on. He did not give his baby squeaks. He was
only stillness. I did have fears that sickness was
upon him. He has lost that piece of asafiditee I did
tie around his neck the other day. That was the
last piece I did have. It was the little piece that
was left of the big piece that the mamma did tie
around my neck, and I did make divides with my
friends. But Solomon Grundy he has lost his
share both times. He does lose it in a quick way.
And I did have no Castoria to give him, because
the mamma has gone and put away the baby's
bottle of Castoria where I cannot find it.
I did not have knowings what to do for him. But
I did have thinks the man that wears gray neckties
and is kind to mice would have knowings what to
do for the sickness of Solomon Grundy. I made
starts to the mill by the far woods. Brave Horatius
was waiting at the barn. He gave his tail two wags
and followed after. We went by Michael Angelo
Sanzio Raphael. I did tell him the baby in my
arms was sick. I said a little prayer over his head.
We went along the lane. When we were come to
Good King Edward I and lovely Queen Eleanor, we
made stops. I did tell them of the sickness of the
baby. I said a little prayer for his getting well.
And I did hold him up for their blessing. Then we
went on, and Brave Horatius came a-following
after. When we were come to the ending of the
lane, I said another little prayer. Then we went on.
When we were come near unto the altar of Good
1 68 THE STORY OF OPAL
King Edward I, I said another little prayer. Then
we went on. Elizabeth Barrett Browning was in
the woods, and she went with us. She mostly does
so. And we went on.
By-and-by my arms was getting tired. Solomon
Grundy, now that he is older grown, does get a little
heavy when I carry him quite a long ways. When
I was come to the far end of the near woods, I met
the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to
mice. He smiled the gentle smile he always does
smile, and he took Solomon Grundy into his arms.
I have thinks he did see the tiredness that was in
my arms. When he sat down on a log with the dear
pig, I said I had fears Solomon Grundy was sick.
He said he did too. But he smoothed my curls back
and he said, "Don't you worry; he will get well."
Hearing him say that made me have better feels.
Men are such a comfort men that wear gray
neckties and are kind to mice. One I know. He
looks kind looks upon the forest and he does love
the grand fir trees that do grow there. I have seen
him stretch out his arms to them just like I do do in
the cathedral. He does have kindness for the little
folks that do live about the grand trees. His ways
are ways of gentleness. All my friends have likes
for him, and so had Solomon Grundy. To-day he
said he would take Solomon Grundy back to camp
by the mill to his bunk-house. A warming he did
need, so he said, and he said he would wrap him in
his blanket and take care of him until morningtime
THE STORY OF OPAL 169
was come. Then he did go the way that goes to
the far woods and I did go the way that does go to
the cathedral. I so went to have a little thank
service for the getting well of Solomon Grimdy. I
do have knowings he will be well when morning-
time is come. With me to the cathedral did go
Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Brave Horatius.
This morning before breakfast I did go to the
cathedral to say thanks for the goodness of one
William Wordsworth, for this is the day of his
borning in 1770. With me did go Thomas Chatter-
ton Jupiter Zeus. And Brave Horatius came a-fol-
After the morning's work was done, I took my
little basket most full of christening robes to the
pen-place near the hen-house where is Minerva and
her fourteen baby chickens. One baby chicken
did n't hatch. I had most enough christening robes
ready on yesterday afternoon but one. When I did
go to sing her baby to sleeps, Elsie did help me to
fix that one while I did carry in some wood for her.
She put a little ruffle of lace on it and a little blue
bow of ribbon. It looked very nice. I did have
thinks how nice they would look if all of the chris-
tening robes for the baby chickens of Minerva
did have little bows of ribbon on them.
Elsie had asks what was my thoughts about,
and I did tell her. And she did say she had thinks
that way too. And she did make a go to her work-
i yo THE STORY OF OPAL
basket that was under the shelf where does set the
bottle of vaseline that her young husband does
smooth back his pumpadoor with. That vaseline
jar is most empty again. When Elsie did find some
little ribbons in her work-basket, she did go and
raise up the trunk-lid and she did find some more
little ribbons in the tray of the trunk. She tied
them all into little bows. And some were pink and
some were lavande and some were blue and some
were rose. There was enough for every baby
chicken to have one on his christening robe. And
I did sew them all on at night-time on yester-
day when the mamma did put me under the bed.
Light enough came from the lamp on the kitchen
table so I could have sees to sew them all on.
When we was come near unto the cathedral, I
made a stop to put on their christening-robes.
Nicolas Boileau and Jean Moliere did have lavande
ribbon bows on theirs. They waited waits in a
corner of the basket while I did put on the others.
Sir Walter Raleigh had a little pink bow on his. He
would not keep still while I was getting him into
his robes. He peeped three times. But Sir Francis
Bacon was more fidgety than he was. It took quite
a time to get his christening robe on. Ben Jonson
did wear the christening robe with the ruffle of lace
around it, and before I did get him put back in the
basket there, he did catch his toe in that ruffle of
lace. Then he peeped. I took his toe out of the
ruffle, and put a christening robe with a rose ribbon
THE STORY OF OPAL 171
bow on it on Francis Beaumont and one like it on
John Fletcher, because their names was together in
the book Angel Mother did write in.
After I did get little brown Oliver Goldsmith and
all the rest of the children of Minerva into their
christening robes, then I did take out of my pocket
her little white cap with the ruffles on it like the
ruffles on the morning-cap of Jenny Strong. I tied
it under Minerva's bill. She was a sweet picture in
it coming down the cathedral aisle by my side.
Minerva is a plump hen of gentle ways. It is not
often she does talk, but she did chuckle all of the
time while her baby chickens was getting chris-
tened. Brave Horatius stood by the altar and Lars
Porsena of Clusium did perch upon his back.
Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil did sit on a log close by.
And Mathilde Plantagenet watched from the pas-
ture-bars. Menander Euripides Theocritus Thu-
cydides did walk by my side when we went goes to
have asks for the blessing of Saint Louis on all
Minerva's baby chickens after they were chris-
tened. Then I did sing"HosannainExcelsis." And
Ben Jonson peeped and so did Francis Beaumont
and Pius VII. He was wiggling so that his christen-
ing robe was most off him. I put it on again. Then
I did stop to straighten up Minerva's cap with the
ruffles on it. It had had a slip-back. Then we had
more prayers. Afterward we all did have goes back
to the chicken-yard pen. I took off Minerva's cap
so it would be clean for cathedral service on Sun-
1 72 THE STORY OF OPAL
days. Then I put her and all her children back in
their pen, after they did have their christening
After I did give Minerva some good-bye pats
and advkes about bringing up her children, then I
did go goes to the house of Sadie McKibben. Me-
nander Euripides Theocritus Thucydides did walk
by my side and Brave Horatius came a-following
after. When I was come to the house of Sadie
McKibben, there was Dear Love. They was glad
we was come, and they had likes for Minerva's
little cap with the ruffles around it like the morn-
ing-cap of Jenny Strong. Dear Love did give
Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus some pats on his
nice white paws.
And they did talk on. I did have hears of them
saying of the pensee girl with the far-away look in
her eyes, that is come again to visit her aunt of the
gray calico dress with the black bow at its neck. I
was glad she is come again. I whispered to Thomas
Chatterton Jupiter Zeus about my glad feels in his
left ear. He cuddled up more close. We listened
more listens. Dear Love too did say to Sadie Mc-
Kibben as how it is the man of the long step that
whistles most all of the time has great love for the
pensee girl with the far-away look in her eyes; and
how it is he is afraid to speak to her about this
great love he has for her. And more Dear Love did
say of how it is he does pick bunches of flowers in
the woods for her and then he does lay them by an
THE STORY OF OPAL 173
old log because he has too shy feels to take them on
Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus did stick out
his right front foot. I gave it a pat, and I did give
him some throat rubs, that he had likes for, and
all of the time I was having thinks. I looked looks
out the side window of thehouseof SadieMcKibben.
A white cloud was sailing in the sky. A little wind
was in the woods. It was calling, "Petite Fran-
coise, come, petite Francoise." I did tell Dear
Love and Sadie McKibben there was needs for me
to hurry away. They did have understanding, and
Sadie McKibben did say it was not long I was stay-
ing to-day, and she would wait waits for my return
coming on the morrow. Dear Love did tell me of the
pieces she did find in the top of her trunk that were
waiting waits to be made into christening robes for
little folks that now do have their borning-time. I
was glad, for there is needs of more.
After I did say good-bye, I went goes on to the
woods. I did not follow the trail that does go to the
moss-box where I do leave letters on leaves for the
fairies. The wind was calling. I followed after it.
It was not adown the path that does lead to the
nursery. It was calling over logs in the way that
does lead to where is that old log with the bunches
of flowers by it and under its edges. They was the
flowers that the man of the long step that whistles
most all of the time did gather for the pensee girl
with the far-away look in her eyes. Some of the
174 THE STORY OF OPAL
bunches of flowers was all faded. It is days a long
time since he did put them there, and it is only a
little time since he did put the last ones there.
I set down on the moss my basket that I did
carry Minerva's baby chickens to christening in.
Then I made begins. First I put some moss in the
basket, then I did put in some of the bunches of
flowers. I put in the most faded ones because they
had been waiting waits the longest. Then we all did
go in a hurry to the house of her aunt of the gray
calico dress with the black bow at its neck.
The aunt was not there, and we were glad; but
the pensee girl with the far-away look in her eyes
was there. She came to the door when we did tap
upon its handle. I did tell her all in one breath
that we was making begins to bring the flowers
that the man of the long step that whistles most all
of the time did gather for her on many days. We
gave her explanations how it was too shy feels he
had to bring them to her himself, so he did lay
them by the old log. I told her as how it was we
did bring the most faded ones first because they
was waiting waits the longest; and she did take
them all up in her arms. And I told her my dog's
name was Brave Horatius and he was a fine dog,
and that Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus was a
most lovely wood-rat, and I held out his white
paw for her to have feels of; but he did pull it back
and cuddle his nose up close to my curls. I told her
how it was he was shy, too, and when he had knows
THE STORY OF OPAL 175
of her better he would let her pat his nice white
Then I did take my basket and go goes in a hurry
back to get the flowers. I did carry the next most
old ones to her. And she was glad for them. She
was waiting waits for me on the steps of the house
of her aunt of the gray calico dress with the black
bow at its neck. She was ready to go back with us
to the log where the flowers was; and there was
joy-lights in her eyes. While we did go along, I
did tell her more about the little animal and bird
folks that do live in the woods and I did tell her
about the great love the man of the long step that
whistles most all of the time does have for her.
Quietness was upon her, and we did walk on in
a slow way. A beetle went across the path and a
salal bush did nod itself to us. The wind made
little soft whispers, and by-and-by we was come
to the log. She did kneel down by it, and she looked
looks for a long time at all the bunches of flowers.
And I did say a little prayer and Thomas Chat-
terton Jupiter Zeus did squeak a little squeak. I
made counts of the bunches of flowers, and they
were thirty-and-three. I saw a chipmunk, and I
followed him after to see how many stripes he did
have on his back and where was his home; and on
the way I saw other birds and I followed them after
on tiptoes to have sees where they were having goes
to. And in the bushes there was a little nest with
four eggs in it with speckles on them. I did have
176 THE STORY OF OPAL
thinks there was needs for me to pick out names for
the little birds that will hatch out of those eggs.
This is a very busy world to live in. There is much
needs for picking out names for things.
I am very happy. I have been to the cathedral
to pray again that the angels will bring a baby to
Dear Love soon.
How Opal and Brave Horatius Go on Explores and Visit the
Hospital. How the Mamma Dyes Clothes and Opal Dyes
MY legs do feel some tired this eventime. I've
been most everywhere to-day. I so have been going
to tell the plant-folks and the flower-folks and the
birds about this day being the going-away day of
one William Shakespeare in 1616. Before yet
breakfast-time was come, I did go to the cathedral
to say prayers of thanks for all the writings he did
write. With me did go Brave Horatius and Lars
Porsena of Clusium and Thomas Chatterton Ju-
piter Zeus and Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil.
When we were come again to the house, they did
wait waits while I did go to do the morning works.
After the morning works were done, I did put
pieces of bread and butter in papers in my pockets
for all of us. I put some milk in the bottle for
Menander Euripides Theocritus Thucydides. He
was waiting waits for me by the pasture-bars. He
is a most woolly lamb. He was glad for his break-
fast and he was glad to have knows about this day.
While I was telling them all there what day this is,
Plutarch Demosthenes made a little jump onto a
little stump. He looked a look about and made
a jump-off. Sophocles Diogenes came a-following
178 THE STORY OF OPAL
after. They both did make some more jumps.
Their ways are ways of playfulness. They are dear
While I was telling them all, Menander Euripides
Theocritus Thucydides did in some way get the
nipple off his bottle, and the rest of the milk did
spill itself out the bottle. I hid the bottle away by a
rock. Menander Euripides Theocritus Thucydides
did follow me after. He does follow me many
wheres I do go to. We went all on. We saw fleurs
and I did stop moments to have talks with them.
I looked for other fleurs that I had longs to see.
Everywhere that we did go I did look looks for
teverin and yellow eclaire and pink mahonille and
mauve and morgeline. When Brave Horatius had
askings in his eyes for what I was looking, I did
give to him explanations. He looked looks back at
me from his gentle eyes. In his looks he did say,
they are not hereabout. We went on. We went to
foret d'Ermenonville and foret de Chantilly. We
went adown Lounette to where it flows into Non-
ette and we went on. Everywhere there were
little whisperings of earth-voices. They all did say
of the writes of William Shakespeare. And there
were more talkings. I lay my ear close to the earth
where the grasses grew close together. I did listen.
The wind made ripples on the grass as it went over.
There were voices from out the earth. And the
things of their saying were the things of gladness of
growing. And there was music. And in the music
THE STORY OF OPAL 179
there was sky-twinkles and earth-tinkles. That was
come of the joy of living. I have thinks all the
grasses growing there did feel glad feels from the
tips of their green arms to their toe roots in the
And Brave Horatius and the rest of us did n't
get home until after supper-time. The folks was
gone to the house of Elsie. I made a hunt for some
supper for Brave Horatius. I found some and I
put it in his special dish. Then I came again into
the house to get some bread and milk. There was a
jar of blackberry jam on the cook-table. It had
interest looks. Just when I happened to be having
all my fingers in the jar of blackberry-jam, there
was rumblings of distress come from the back yard.
I climbed onto the flour barrel and looked a look
out the window. There near unto my chum's
special supper-dish sat the pet crow with top-
heavy appears. There was reasons for his forlorn
looks, for Brave Horatius had advanced to the rear
of Lars Porsena of Clusium and pulled out his
I have had no case like this before. I felt dis-
turbs. I had not knowings what to do for it. I had
some bandages and some mentholatum in my
pocket. I took Lars Porsena of Clusium all that
was left of him with his tail-feathers gone and I
sat down on the steps. First I took some mentho-
latum and put it on a piece of bandage. I put the
piece of bandage onto Lars Porsena of Clusium
180 THE STORY OF OPAL
where his tail-feathers did come out. Then I did
take the long white bandage in the middle, and I
did wrap it about Lars Porsena of Clusium from
back to front in under his wings and twice on
top, so the bandage would stay in place on the end
of him where his tail-feathers came out.
Then I did make a start to the hospital. I did
have wonders how long the needs would be for
Lars Porsena of Clusium to be there before his tail
would grow well again. I only did have going a
little way when I did meet with the man that wears
gray neckties and is kind to mice. He looked a
look at me and he looked a look at Lars Porsena of
Clusium in my arms. Then he did have askings
why was it Lars Porsena was in bandages. I told
him explanations all about it. He pondered on the
matter. Then he picked me and Lars Porsena up
and set us down on a stump. He told me there was
no needs for me to have wonders about how long
the need would be for Lars Porsena of Clusium to
be in the hospital with bandages on him. He did
talk on in his gentle way of how it is birds that do
lose their tail-feathers do grow them on again. He
so said and I did have understanding.
Then he did take up Lars Porsena of Clusium in
his arms. And he unwrapped him from front to
back and back to front. When the bandage was all
off him, Lars Porsena of Clusium did give, himself
a stretch and his wings a little shake. And I said a
little prayer for his getting well and a new tail
THE STORY OF OPAL 181
soon. And the man that wears gray neckties and
is kind to mice said Amen. Then we came home.
To-day was dyeing day. The mamma dyed. She
dyed clothes old ones. First she washed them in
the tub. Then she put them in the boiler on the
stove. In the boiler was beautiful blue water. I
know because I climbed on the stove-hearth and
peeked in. The mamma did n't make this water
blue with balls like she does the rench water for
the clothes on wash-days. She made this water blue
with stuff out of an envelope. I had sees of her
tear its corner off, and the blue little specks came
out of that envelope in a quick way. The specks
so did come in a more hurry way when she did
give the envelope some shakes. All the clothes
the mamma did carry from the wash-tub to the
boiler all those clothes was blue when she took
them out; and afterwards the blue was yet with
them and they hung upon the line. I see them
quiver blue quivers when the wind blows.
After she did hang them there on the line, the
mamma did leave the boiler of dye-blue water on
the stove. And she is gone goes to the house of her
mother by the meeting of the roads. She told me
to watch the house and let the fire go out. It so is
gone a long time ago, and I keep watch. The blue
water in the boiler has cold feels now. I stood upon
the stove and I put my arm way down in it, and it
was coldness. First I did only touch touches on the
1 82 THE STORY OF OPAL
water with my finger. It was warmness then. That
was just when the mamma did go.
She is hours and hours gone now. I have been
keeping watches of the house like she did say for
me to do when she went away. And in-between
times I have been reading reads in the books Angel
Mother and Angel Father did write in. I have been
screwtineyesing the spell of words. Now I am
going to have dyeing day like the mamma did have
on this morning. It is so much of fun to lift things
up and down in blue water. On wash-days the
mamma has me to do it much. She calls it rench-
ing the clothes. When it's blue water in a boiler,
it's dyeing them.
I have been dyeing like the mamma dyed this
morning. First I did dye the mamma's bag of
blueing balls. That bag was getting pale looks.
Next I did dip in the mamma's clothes-pin bag.
It was brownness before. I have not sure feels yet
what color it is going to be since it has had its
dye. I took all the clothes-pins out first. Then I did
give them all a dip. They did bob about in a funny
way. I made whirls in the dye-blue water with
my fingers, so the clothes-pins would make some
more bobs. It was very nice, standing there on top
the cook-stove watching the bobs they made in
Then I made a start to dye handles. First I
dipped in the butcher-knife handle. Then I did
give the dipper-handle a dip. I had carefuls to
THE STORY OF OPAL 183
make it go only half-way. Then I did give the
handle of the potato-masher a dip. And I gave the
hammer-handle a dip in the dye-blue water.
Clementine came in a walk up step on the back
porch. She looked a look in. She is such a friendly
Plymouth Rock hen. She walked right into our
house and came in a hop up by the dye-blue water.
She so does like my blue calico apron. She hops
up on my knee when I sit down to talk to the
chickens in the chicken park. I had thinks being as
she has likes for my blue calico apron she would
have likes for blue feathers; so I did give her a
gentle dip in the dye-blue water and two more.
She walked right out our front door without even a
thank chuckle. I never had knows of her to do so
before. The dye-blue water was waiting waits.
Next I dipped the Plymouth Rock rooster in.
He did object to being dyed blue. He was quite
fidgety. I had decides not to coax any more folks
from the chicken yard to get dyed blue feathers.
I looked looks about the house we live in. I had
seeing of a box of matches the mamma did leave on
a chair in the bedroom. The mamma has said I
must n't touch a box of matches on the cupboard
shelf. And I don't. But she did n't say I must n't
touch them when she leaves them on a chair. So I
have took the box of matches and it has had its
dip. It has a limp feel. I have put it on the back
steps to get its form again. And all the matches
that was in the box have had their dips in the dye-
1 84 THE STORY OF OPAL
blue water. I have laid them in rows on the grass
to have a dry.
And now I do have thinks how nice it will be on
next time when dyeing day is come if the mamma
does have seeing as how I could be helps being
as I now do have so much knowing of the ways of
dyeing. I have thinks a big amount of helps I could
be. Now while the things I have dyed do dry, I am
going goes to the cathedral to have a long service
there, for this is the borning day of Saint Louis in
1215. And many wheres there is needs for me to
go to tell the plant-folk all about this being the day
of his borning. And too it is the borning day of
Oliver Cromwell in 1599, and the borning day of
Padre Martini in 1706, and it is the going-away
day of Torquato Tasso in 1595. The winds sing of
these. And the great pine tree is saying a poem
about this day.
How the Mamma's Wish Came True, and how Opal was
Spanked for it; and of the Likes which Aphrodite Had for a
Clean Place to Live in.
IN the morning of to-day, before I did eat my
bowl of mush and milk for breakfast, I did go to
the cathedral to say thank prayers for the good
works of Leonardo da Vinci, for this is the day of
his going away in 1519. When after-breakfast
works was done, the mamma did have me to churn.
While I did make the handle with the cross sticks on
it go up and down in the churn, I did have hearing
of the little glad songs all the fleurs were singing
out in the field. When the butter was come, the
mamma did take it out the churn. She put all
the little yellow lumps in a wood bowl. Then she
gave to them pats and more pats. When she got
through patting the butter into its proper form, the
mamma did throw the butter-paddle over on the
cook-table. She said she hoped and wished that
she would never see that butter-paddle again. She
won't. After I heard her say that, I floated it away
in the creek. It made a nice boat. It did sail along
in a bobby way. I took Solomon Grundy with me.
I just let him dabble his toes. When he is an older
pig, he can wade right out into the creek with me.
His eyes did look bright to-day while I was telling
THE STORY OF OPAL 187
spanks. The back part of me does feel sore feels. I
have thinks I will go and give geology lectures to
the folks in the nursery, and too I will sing them
lullaby songs and the bird and fleur chant de fete
de grandpere of niverolle and ortolan and verdier
and etourneau and nenujar and eclaire and ulmaire
I so have gone goes, and the folks in the nursery
was glad for food and songs. And afterwards I
went more on into the woods. There was little
whispers among the leaves. And there was a song
in the tall fir tree-tops. And a pine tree was saying
a poem. I listened listens. Then I went goes on.
I saw a man coming. He did take long steps. When
he was nearer come, I had seeing it was the man
that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice. I
did go adown the path in a more quick way. He
did have seeing of my coming. Then I did hide
behind a tree. He came on. When he was near the
tree he did say, " I thought I saw someone coming.
Guess I was mistaken. I think I'll take these
splints for the hospital back to the mill."
When I did hear him say that, I ran in a quick
way back to the path. He did n't see me. He was
looking long looks away. Then I did give his coat-
sleeve a gentle pull, and he did whistle, and he did
ask me if there was needs for splints at the hospital.
And I told him all in one breath how much needs
there was. He had me to tell him all over again
about the little chicken that did have its leg hurt.
1 88 THE STORY OF OPAL
And I gave him explanations how it was Sir Fran-
cis Bacon did have his leg hurt in a real bad way,
and the big folks was going to kill him, but they
gave him to me for my very own because he was n't
any good any more.
And the man that wears gray neckties and is
kind to mice did have understanding, and he went
goes with me to the hospital that I do have for little
hurt folks, at Saint-Germain-en-Laye. While I did
hold little Sir Francis Bacon, the man that wears
gray neckties and is kind to mice did fix the splints
on his hurt leg in a gentle way. Then I did pray
prayers for his getting well soon. Brave Horatius
did bark Amen and one of the most tall pine
trees was saying a poem.
After morning's works was done I was washing
out clothes for the baby. I thought what a nice
christening robe one of the baby's dresses would
make for one of the newbabypigs. The mamma had
not thoughts that way. When the dress was on the
line, I did go by the chicken-yard to have sees how
the children of Minerva are growing. Pius VII is
getting some tail-feathers. He comes to feed from
my hand every day, and he likes to go to school in
my little basket. He has not been for a whole week
now, because the last time I took him he peeped
and teacher sent us home. Next day I took Francis
Beaumont and John Fletcher, and they was quiet.
Last time I took them to cathedral service, Ben
THE STORY OF OPAL 189
Jonson pecked Sir Walter Raleigh on the head. I
said prayers over them for peace between them.
Then I put one in a little box on one log and I put
the other one in a little box on the other log. The
boxes was alike. To-day I had sees of these two
drinking out of the water-pan together. Peace was
between them. She is a nice mother-hen that has
got all her children growed up. And little Edmund
Spenser was scratching for a worm near his little
brown brother Oliver Goldsmith. And all Minerva's
family was growing well.
I felt satisfaction feels about it, and I sat down
on a log to pick out names for the twins I am go-
ing to have when I grow up. I picked out a goodly
number of names, but I could not have decides
which ones. I had thinks I would wait a little time,
and I had remembers it was time for me to be
making another portrait of Solomon Grundy. So
I went around by the pig-pen to get Solomon
Grundy. I said comfort words to Aphrodite. I
told her how it was I was just taking Solomon
Grundy to make a portrait of him, and as how I
was going to make it in the same way and in the
same place as I did make her portrait quite a time
ago. She grunted a short grunt and then a long
grunt. Sometimes it is difficult to understand pig
talk. But her next grunt it was very plain. It
was just an invitation to make Solomon Grundy's
portrait there by her side, and no needs of taking
him out of the pig-pen.
190 THE STORY OF OPAL
I told her yes, I would make his portrait right
there by her, and I did bring many brown bracken
ferns after I did have the pig-pen cleaned out.
Most every day I do give the pig-pen a rake-out,
and bring some clean dirt from the garden. I have
thinks pigs do have likes for clean places to live in.
It brings more inspirations to their souls. And, too,
every day Aphrodite does have likes for her feed-
ing-trough to be scrubbed clean all over. And I
have planted ferns and fleurs all around her pig-
pen. It is a very nice place, with sweet smells of
grass and fleurs. And Aphrodite was glad for the
brushing I did give her to-day.
I've got a brush a nice new brush a good
new brush. It is for to brush my pig friends. They
so do need brushings. This new brush the man
that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice did
get for me last time he did go to the mill town. The
pigs do like the feels the new brush does make upon
their backs. The clean feels it does give to them are
pleasant to their souls.
After I did give her the brushing, I did get moss
and cover the clean feed-trough with it. That
made a nice place to sit and draw Solomon Grundy's
portrait by his mother there. I drew him lying by
her side. Then I had him to stand on his feet, and
I drew one of him that way. I had it almost done.
There was a little noise. It was the step of some-
one going by. I had not knows who it was. I went
on drawing Solomon Grundy's ears and his curly
THE STORY OF OPAL 191
tail. Then I had knows what it was. It was that
chore boy come to feed the pigs and he poured
all that bucket of swill on top the moss and Solomon
Grundy's portrait and me.
The feels I did feel they was drippy ones.
And I did have decides to make that other por-
trait of Solomon Grundy another time. I said
good-bye to Aphrodite. Then I went goes in a
quick way to the singing creek where the willows
grow, to get the swill-smells off. First I did wade
out a little way. Then I sat down. The water came
in a nice way up to my neck, and it went singing on.
I gave my curls wash-offs, and I did listen to the
song the creek was singing as it did go by. It was a
song of the hills. Being up to my neck made the
water sounds very near to my ears. I had likes for
By-and-by I did have feels that I was clean again
and I did have thinks I better go get some dry
clothes on, because sitting there in the singing
creek did make my clothes some wet. When I was
come to the house we live in, the mamma was gone
to the house of Elsie, so I did go in. First I did give
my clothes some wring-outs by the steps, so the
water would not have drips on the kitchen floor, for
the mamma has likes to keep her house very clean.
When I did have dry clothes on me, I did go to
hang the wet ones on bushes in the woods to dry.
Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus went with me.
Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil rode in one of my apron
192 THE STORY OF OPAL
pockets and Felix Mendelssohn rode in the other
one. And Louis II, le Grand Conde, did have rides
in my sleeve. We was all very glad. As we went
along, I had seeings the strings I have put on the
bushes for the birds was gone. We went on and
on some more. I did have looks about. I did have
seeing of little wood-folks going their ways. I
watched their little moves and I had seeing of what
color they was. I made stops to tell them about this
being the borning day of Linnaeus in 1707, and the
going-away day of Georges Cuvier in 1832.
We went on. All things was glad. The winds did
sing. The leaves did sing. The grasses talked in
whispers all along the way. I have thinks they
were saying, "Petite Francoise, Pete approche
Pete approche." I did have hearings to all they
were so saying, as I did go along. And the little
birdlings in their cradles were calling for more to
eat. And I did make a stop to watch the mother-
birds and father-birds in their comings and goings.
Now are busy times.
Of Many Washings and a Walk.
TO-DAY I did take Mathilde Plantagenet to visit
the girl that has no seeing. I did tell her I would so
bring Mathilde Plantagenet, and she did have joy
feels when she did have thinks about Mathilde
Plantagenet coming to visit her. Before we did
start, I did give Mathilde Plantagenet a good foot-
bath, as Sadie McKibben does always take one
before she goes a-visiting. Then I did wash the neck
and ears of Mathilde Plantagenet in a careful way.
It took four Castoria-bottles full of water to do so.
I have had a big problem. That's what Sadie
McKibben says when she has had a difficulty of
managing. My big problem was what to carry
water in when I go to make prepares to give my
pets foot-baths and neck-and-ear washes. I have
tried thimbles to use for wash-pans when I do wash
the hands of my pets, but thimbles hold not enough
of water. Often and often again there is needs to
go for more water when one does use thimblefuls
at a time. Sometimes now I do use a mentholatum
jar. It holds more water than does a thimble, but
mostly now I do carry Castoria bottles full of water
when I start on my way to wash the neck and ears
of my animal friends. Sadie McKibben has gave
me advice and a lard-bucket to carry those Cas-
toria bottles full of water in.
i 9 4 THE STORY OF OPAL
After I so did have Mathilde Plantagenet washed
then I did dry her neck and ears with the soft salt-
sack towel that Sadie McKibben has gave to me.
After I did have her neck and ears washed and her
hair rubbed down in the way it does go, I did give
her a little lump of salt. She liked that. Then I tied
the little rope around her neck that I do lead her
by, and we made starts to go visit the girl that has
no seeing. When we were come to her gate, I did
open it and Mathilde Plantagenet and I went down
the path to her door. Mathilde Plantagenet went
around with me to the window where I do tap taps
so she will have knows I am come.
She did rub the nose of Mathilde Plantagenet.
And she was so glad to see her. She straightway did
go to bring her a salt-lump. But I told her Mathilde
Plantagenent did just have a salt-lump after her
foot-bath. And I did give her explainings as how
I thought one salt-lump a day is enough for Ma-
thilde Plantagenet while she is yet so young. When
she is older grown she may have two salt-lumps in
one day. Then the girl that has no seeing did give
me the salt-lump for her to have to-morrow. She
has thinks like my thinks that there is music in
the moos of Mathilde Plantagenet. And she had
asks how was the dear baby of Elsie's. And I told
her as how I thought it would have two tooths soon,
and she said that would be interest. I had thinks
so too. I told her the mamma's nice baby has a
lot of tooths. It's had them quite a time long, and
so has Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus.
THE STORY OF OPAL 195
Then we all did go for a walk. With my right
hand I did lead the girl who has no seeing. With
my left hand I did lead Mathilde Plantagenet. And
Brave Horatius came a-following after. As we did
go along, we did have listens to the voices of the
trees and grass. The girl that has no seeing is
learning to have hearing of what the grasses say
and of the waters of the brooks that tell the hill
songs. Too, she is learning to see things. She shuts
her eyes when I shut mine. We go on journeys
together. We ride in a cloud in a fleecy white
one that does sail away over the hills. We look
down on beautiful earth, and we see Nonette and
Iraouaddy and Launette and foret d'Ermenonville
and Aunette and foret de Chantilly and Saint
To-day, after we did have our eyes shut for quite
a time long, I did open mine just a little bit to have
seeing how big that bee was that was making such
a buzz. He was quite a big bee and he was in a
hurry. When he did go on, the girl who has no see-
ing did have asks when was I going to bring Menan-
der Euripides Theocritus Thucydides to visit her.
She said she had thinks he must be a bigger lamb
now with me giving him his bottle of milk morning
and eventime. I said he was growing more big
a little bit. He is a very dear lamb. Then she
had askings when was Thomas Chatterton Jupiter
Zeus and Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil coming to
visit her. And she had wants to know when was
Lars Porsena of Clusium coming again. I did have
196 THE STORY OF OPAL
thinks about it and I did tell her we would all come
to visit her on the fourth day from the day that is
now. And I did sing her the song of fleurs: of tante,
of myosotis, aubepine, romarin, gentiane, ulmaire,
eglantier, rosagine, iris, tulipe and eclaire. And we
came home, and before we were yet to the house we
live in, we did make a stop at the cathedral for
prayers, and "Hosanna in excelsis."
Why it Was that the Girl who Has no Seeing Was not at
Home when Opal Called.
Now is the fourth day come. And we are going
goes to the house of the girl who has no seeing. All
the morning hours there was works to do to help
the mamma. Afternoon is now come and we go.
We did. First I did make begins to get us all
together. Brave Horatius was waiting by the back
steps. Lars Porsena of Clusium was near unto him.
Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil was under the front
doorstep. Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus was
back of the house in his home of sticks that he does
have likes for. I did help Thomas Chatterton
Jupiter Zeus to build that home. I had sees in the
woods of how other wood-rats do have their houses
builded of sticks and some sticks and some more
sticks. To-day, when I did squeak calls for Thomas
Chatterton Jupiter Zeus to come out of his house,
he did come out, and he did crawl up on my shoulder
and cuddle his nose up close to my curls.
We made a start. We went by the nursery to
get Nannerl Mozart. We went on. Menander Eu-
ripides Theocritus Thucydides was playing close by
the pasture-bars. He is a very jumpy lamb. He
did jump a long jump to meet us to-day, and his
tail did wiggle more wiggles. We went adown the
i 9 8 THE STORY OF OPAL
lane. We made a stop to get Solomon Grundy, and
his little sister Anthonya Mundy, that has not got
as much curl in her tail as Solomon Grundy. We
went out along the road. They were a sweet pic-
ture. I made a stop to look at them all some
running ahead and some behind. They all did wear
their pink ribbons that the fairies did bring. Solo-
mon Grundy and Anthonya Mundy and Menander
Euripides Theocritus Thucydides all did wear di-
vides of the ribbon that was the ribbon that dear
William Shakespeare used to wear. And they all
did have joy feels as they had knows they were
going on a visit to visit the girl that has no seeing.
She has love for them. And we did go in a hurry on.
I did feel a big amount of satisfaction that I have
such a nice family.
Lars Porsena of Clusium did ride most of the
way on the back of Brave Horatius. His appears
are not what they were before he did lose his tail-
feathers. I am praying prayers every day for him
to get a new tail soon. When we were all come near
to the house of the girl that has no seeing, we did
walk right up to the door. And I stepped three
steps back and three hops over and three steps up
to the door, so she would have knows we was come.
We had knows only she would be there because
this day is the going-to-town day of her people. I
stepped more steps. Brave Horatius barked more
barks for her coming. And Solomon Grundy
squealed his most nice baby-pig squeal. We did
THE STORY OF OPAL 199
listen listens. She had not coming to the door. I
sat on the steps to wait waits. I so did for some
time long. While we did have waits, I did sing to
Brave Horatius and Solomon Grundy and all of
them songs of Nonette and Iraouaddy and more
songs Angel Father did teach me to sing of birds of
oncle what did have going away, of roitelet, ortolan,
bruant, epervier, rousserolle, tourterelle, farlouse,
ramier, aigle, nonnette, chardonneret, orfraie, ibis,
rossignol, loriot, ortolan, ibis, sansonnet, pinson, hi-
rondelle, ibis, lanier, ibis, pic, pivoine, epeiche,faisan,
etourneau, roitelet, draine, ibis, nonnette, aigle, nive-
rolle, durbec, aigle, roitelet, ibis, etourneau, draine,
ortolan, roitelet, loriot, emerillon, aigle, niverolle, sar-
celle. All my pets do have likes for those songs.
To-day Brave Horatius did bark a bark when I
was done and Solomon Grundy did squeal his baby-
pig squeal again. I had wonders why she did not
After by-and-by I did go sit on the gate-post to
wait waits. It was a long time. A man on a horse
went by. Another man went by. He had asks what
for was I sitting on the gate-post. I did tell him I
was waiting waits for the coming of the girl that
has no seeing. He did look away off to the hills.
Then he started to say something but he swallowed
it. He looked off to the hills again. Then he did
say, "Child, she won't come back. She is gone to
I did smile a sorry smile upon him because I had
200 THE STORY OF OPAL
knows he did n't know what he was talking about
when he did say she won't come back. It is not
often she goes anywhere, and when she does, she
always does come back. I told him I knew she
would comeback. I waited some more waits. Then
it was time for my pets to be going back because it
would not do for the chore boy not to find Solomon
Grundy and Anthonya Mundy in the pig-pen. I
will go goes again to-morrow to see the girl that has
no seeing, for I have knows she will come again
home to-night in starlight-time.
When Solomon Grundy and Anthonya Mundy
did have their pink ribbons off and was again in
the pig-pen, the rest of us did have going to the
cathedral for songs and prayers. I did pray that
the girl that has no seeing may not stub her toe
and fall when she comes home to-night by starlight-
time. And Brave Horatius did bark Amen.
Early on this morning I went again to the house
of the girl who has no seeing. There were little
singings everywhere sky and hills and the wil-
lows were whispering little whispers by Nonette. I
went in a quick way down along the lane and in
along the fields, until I was come near unto her
house. I cuddled Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus
more close in my arms, and I tiptoed on the grass.
Menander Euripides Theocritus Thucydides did
make little jumps beside me. And Brave Horatius
came a-following after.
THE STORY OF OPAL 201
I made a stop by the window that I always do
make stops by and I rapped six raps on the window-
pane. Six raps means "Come on out we are
come." I had no hears of her steps a-coming like
they always do. I put my hands above my eyes so
I could see inside the window. She was not there.
Nobody was. I did tap six more raps. She did not
I went on around by the lilac bush. I crawled in
under it to wait waits for her coming. Two men
were talking by the fence. One did say, "It is
better so." I had wonders what did he mean. The
other man did say, "A pit tea it was she could n't
have had a little sight to see that brush-fire ahead."
And I had hears of the other one say, "Probably
the smell of the smoke caused her worry about the
fire coming to the house, and probably she was
trying to find out where it was when she walked
right into it." And the other man did have asks if
she was con chus after. And the other one did say,
I listened more listens to their queer talk. I had
wonders what did it all mean. Another man did
come in the gate. He came to where they was. He
put his hand on a fence-post. There was a green
caterpillar close by him on a bush, but he had not
seeing of it. He did begin to talk. First thing he
said was, "When Jim went by here last even, that
child was sitting on the gate-post. She was waiting
for her to come back." He said more; he said,
202 THE STORY OF OPAL
"Jim told her she was gone to the graveyard, but
she said she knew she would come back."
Why, that was what I told that man. It all did
sound queer. I heard them say some more. Then
I had understanding. I had knows then it was the
girl that has no seeing they was having talks about,
because I was waiting waits for her on yesterday
when the man did tell me that. I felt queerness in
my throat and I could n't see either. I could n't
see the green caterpillar on the leaf by the man that
said it. And Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus had
looks like a gray cloud in my arms.
More the men said. They talked it all over again.
They said she smelled the smoke of the brush-fire,
and not having sees of it, she did walk right into it
and all her clothes did have fire; and then she ran,
and her running did make the fire to burn her more
and she stubbed her toe and fell. She fell in a
place where there was mud and water. She was
rolling in it when they found her. And all the fire-
pains that was did make her moan moans until
hours after, when she died. They say she died. And
I could n't see Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus or
Brave Horatius or anything then.
When after a while I did come again the way
that goes to the house we live in, I did have sees of
the little fleurs along the way that she so did love.
I have thinks they were having longings for her
presence. And I so was too. But I do have thinks
her soul will come again to the woods. And she
THE STORY OF OPAL 203
will have sees of the blooming of the fleurs in the
field she has loves for. I go now to write a message
on a leaf for her like I do to Angel Father and Angel
Mother. I will put one by the ferns, and I will tie
one to a branch of the singing fir tree. And I will
pray that the angels may find them when they come
a-walking in the woods. Then they will carry them
up to her in heaven there.
Of a Cathedral Service in the Pig-Pen. How the World
Looks from a Man's Shoulder.
IN the morning of to-day, being as I could not
get the fence down about the pig-pen so Aphrodite
could get out to go to service in the cathedral, I did
have decides to have cathedral service in the pig-
I brought large pieces of moss and lovely ferns.
I got a wood-box so Brave Horatius could get in.
After he was in the pig-pen, I did use the box for
an altar. I lay moss upon it and ferns about it.
While I was fixing it Lars Porsena did perch on my
shoulder and he stayed there for service. Thomas
Chatterton Jupiter Zeus nestled by my side. Solo-
mon Grundy and Anthonya Mundy, who has n't as
much curl in her tail as Solomon Grundy these
lay by their mother Aphrodite and me and all the
other little pigs. I sat on a board and Clementine
did perch on the edge of the feeding-trough. In its
middle was her sister hen Andromeda. Felix Men-
delssohn did snuggle up in my right apron pocket.
And in the left apron pocket was that lovely toad,
Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil.
After some long time, when we all did get settled
down to quietness, I did start service. It took a
long time to get quietness because the dear folks
THE STORY OF OPAL 205
were n't used to having cathedral service in the
pig-pen. After the third hymn I did preach the
morning sermon. I did choose for my text: "I will
lift up mine eyes unto the hills." I had to peek
through the pig-pen fence to do it, for it did have
more tallness than I did have. I lifted most all the
congregation up to have a peek. I did lift them one
at a time. And so they saw and lifted up their eyes
unto the hills, but most of them did n't. They
looked in different ways. Some saw God's good-
ness in the grass and some did see it in the trees,
and Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus did not have
seeing for more than for the piece of cheese I did
have hid in my sleeve for him. He gave his cheese
squeak. I gave him a nibble. Then we had prayers.
Rain is come some more. It came all night. And
earth is damp again and things grow more in the
garden. Some things grow very fast. Weeds so do.
When the rain did stop having come-downs on this
morning, then the mamma did have me to hoe in
between the rows of things that do grow in the
garden. As I did go along, I did have talks with
these folks that grow in the garden there. I did tell
them little poems. And I did sing to them little
songs. As I did go along between the rows, Brave
Horatius did follow after. I had thinks about the
things growing there. I wonder if I would get
roots like the plants in the garden, if I planted my
feet some inches in the soil and did keep still quite
206 THE STORY OF OPAL
a time long. I have thinks I will try it some day
and find out.
As I did go on, I did have sees there were earth-
worms on the window-panes over the young cab-
bage-plants. The grown-ups say the earthworms
rained down. They are mistaken. Those earth-
worms crawled up. I Ve watched them do it. They
were about in many places. I have been learning
things about earthworms. I think being an earth-
worm must be an interesting life. I wonder how it
feels to stretch out long and then get short again.
I went goes on, to pull weeds by the bean-folks. I
went back some steps to look looks at them. Those
bean-folks in the garden are such climbers. Their
thoughts reach up toward the sky. And they climb
up on the poles we put in the garden there.
By-and-by I saw another earthworm. He was
alone. I did have sees of his movements. I always
do see more earthworms after rain. This one was
making himself very long. Lucian Horace Ovid
Virgil, too, did have seeing of that earthworm. I
made a stop to see what he was going to do about
it. I did see. He did walk walks around that earth-
worm. Then he did take it in a quick way. It was
a very big earthworm, and Lucian Horace Ovid
Virgil did have needs to use his hands to stuff it
down his throat. The earthworm made wiggles,
and Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil gave it pushes down
In afternoon-time, when other works was done,
THE STORY OF OPAL 207
I did take Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus and
Felix Mendelssohn and Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil
with me, and Louis II, le Grand Conde, did have
rides in my sleeve. We went goes to the barn. I
made a stop to talk with Michael Angelo Sanzio
Raphael. Then I did go in to play on the hay. I
had hearing of sounds in the stall below. I slid a
slide down into the manger of that stall. There was
someone I have never had sees of before. He had
big eyes and a velvet nose, and he was brownish.
When I did land in his manger there, he did look
afraid looks. But I just sat quiet in the corner of
the manger and reached out handfuls of hay to him.
I have knows he is that new saw rel horse I have
heard the grandpa at the ranch-house say he was
going to get. And now he is got. I have likes for
him. I told him a poem and I did sing him a song
of fleurs de tante, of myosotis et anemone et roma-
rin et iris et eclaire. He did have likes for that
song, and the bunches of hay I did hold out to him.
And this being the going-away day of Savonarola
in 1498, 1 have give this new saw rel horse for name
Girolamo Savonarola. I did tell him his name while
I did give him more pats on his velvet nose. I have
likes for him.
On yesterday the coffee-pot tipped over on
Harold. He had pains worse than when the
baby has colic. Elsie puts oil on him. When she
puts the oil on him, some of his cries go under the
208 THE STORY OF OPAL
floor and we do not hear them any more. I feel I
have needs of that oil in my hospital. Three times
on this morning I have been on goes to the house of
Elsie to have asks if he is growing well. She says
his feels are better the oil does make them so.
And I yet have more thinks then there is needs of
oil like that oil in my hospital.
When I was coming back from the house of Elsie
I did look looks about as I did go along. I saw a
piece of bark. I did turn it over with care. There
were ants. I made a set-down to watch them. Some
ants did carry bundles with queer looks. Big Jud
at school says they are ant eggs. I have not thinks
so. They be too big for ant eggs and I have
remembers that Angel Father did call them nymphes
When I was come to the house we live in, there
was Lars Porsena of Clusium walking about on the
clean tablecloth that has been put on for company.
And there he was tracking crow-tracks in jam all
over it. I picked him up and the mamma picked
me up, and right away she did spank me for his
doing it. The time it did take to wash that table-
cloth was quite a time long. I made little rubs on
it where was the jam-tracks of Lars Porsena of
Clusium. When they was all come out, and it had
clean looks that did suit the feels of the mamma,
then she did tell us to get out of her way.
We did. We went to the woods and Thomas
Chatterton Jupiter Zeus went with us. When we
THE STORY OF OPAL 209
were come to the great fir tree, I did say a prayer.
We went on. A little way we went. Then I made a
stop to print a message on a leaf, for the soul of the
girl that has no seeing. I had wants to tie it on a
limb of a tree that I could not reach up to, and
there was no tree fallen against it. While I did
stand close by it, the man that wears gray neck-
ties and is kind to mice did come that way by.
When he saw me in meditation by that tree, he did
ask me what I wanted. I told him I did have needs
of being up in that tree. He did set me on his
shoulder. From there I could reach the tree-arm
that was most near earth. But before I did climb
onto the limb from his shoulder I did take long
looks about in three straight ways and four corner
One does get such a good view of life from a man's
shoulder. One feels so much more tall. I saw a
mouse run under a log. I saw a mother-bird come
to her babies. I saw a toad by an old gray rock. I
saw a caterpillar on a bush close by. I saw a squir-
rel on a tree beyond the next bush. Then I did
climb up into the tree, and I tied the leaf with the
message on it out far on a limb high up, so the
angels would have sees of it when they went flying
by and carry it up to her in heaven there.
Afterwards I did go to the house of Sadie Mc-
Kibben. Lars Porsena of Clusium and Thomas
Chatterton Jupiter Zeus went goes with me. Sadie
McKibben has a new back-comb. She did have me
210 THE STORY OF OPAL
put it in her hair for the first time it so is in. It
has crinkles on its back and it does hold her hair
up from her neck in a nice way. Sometimes
Sadie McKibben does let me help her to do up her
hair. I have satisfaction feels that I can be of helps.
I do roll her hair in a roll on top of her head. It
makes loop looks where some hairs want not to
be in the roll on top of her head. Then I do put the
hairpins in, to make them look like a water-wheel
that the chore boy does build in the brook. But all
the times I do put Sadie McKibben's hairpins in like
a water-wheel, her hair, it does not stay up long.
Then she does smile a smile and give her hair a
quick roll. She sticks the hairpins in tight. Her
hair, it does stay up. She so did to-day. And when
we came away she did give me a kiss on both my
cheeks and one on my nose. I have glad feels that
she does remember about the nose.
After I was come home I did bring the wood in
and set the table. Then I made a start to go to the
ranch-house to get the milk. On the way along I
heard a little lamb bleating. It was crying for its
mother. I went to look for it. I left the path. I
went to the pasture up by the woods. When I got
there the little lamb seemed to be away back in
the woods. I set the milk-pail down and ran. I ran
quick. There were long gray shadows in the woods.
I felt their soft fingers touch my cheeks. I ran on.
The little lamb had stopped crying. I heard it bleat
no more. Where last time it did cry, there was only
THE STORY OF OPAL 211
the husband of Sadie McKibben sitting on a log. I
have thinks the wee lamb did find its mother. So I
came back again. And the time was not long until
I did have the milk brought to the house we live in.
Afterwards in gray-light time I did go to the
cathedral. And with me went Brave Horatius and
most all the others. We did have service and I did
sing and say thank prayers for the goodness of
Gregoire VII. It was on this day in 1085 it was
then he did have going away. And this eventime
there was a song in the tree-tops at the cathedral.
I have thinks it was a song of his goodness.
How Opal Piped with Reeds, and what a Good Time Dear Love
Gave Thomas Chatter ton Jupiter Zeus.
VERY early in the morning of to-day I did get
out of my bed and I did get dressed in a quick way.
Then I climbed out the window of the house we
live in. The sun was up and the birds were singing.
I went my way. As I did go, I did have hearing of
many voices. They were the voices of earth glad
for the spring. They did say what they had to say
in the growing grass and in the leaves growing out
from tips of branches. The birds did have knowing,
and sang what the grasses and leaves did say of the
gladness of living. I, too, did feel glad feels from
my toes to my curls.
I went down by the swamp; I went there to get
reeds. There I saw a black bird with red upon his
wings. He was going in among the rushes. I made
a stop to watch him. I have thinks to-morrow I
must be going in among the rushes where he did go.
I shall pull off my shoes and stockings first, for
mud is there and there is water. I like to go in
among the rushes where the black birds with red
upon their wings do go. I like to touch finger-tips
with the rushes. I like to listen to the voices that
whisper in the swamp, and I do so like to feel the
mud ooze up between my toes. Mud has so much of
interest in it slippery feels and sometimes little
THE STORY OF OPAL 213
seeds that some day will grow into plant-folk if
they do get the right chance. And some were so
growing this morning. And more were making
begins. I did have seeing of them while I was look-
ing looks about for reeds.
With the reeds I did find there I did go a-piping.
I went adown the creek and out across the field
and in along the lane. Every stump I did come to
I did climb upon. By-and-by I was come near
unto the house we live in. I thought it would be
nice to go adown the path and pipe a forest song to
the mamma of the gladness of the spring. When the
mamma met me piping in the path, she did turn
me about to the way that does lead to the house we
live in. She so did with switches. She made me to
stop piping the song of the forest, but it did n't go
out of my heart.
When we was come into the house, the mamma
did tell me works to do, and then she went with the
little girl and the baby and some lace she was mak-
ing for a skirt for the baby, all to the house of Elsie.
I did make begins on the works. I like to be helps
to the mamma. I like to sing while I have works to
do. It does so help. After I did scrub the steps
and empty the ashes and fill the wood-box and
give the baby's clothes some washes, all as the
mamma did say for me to do, then I made pre-
pares to take Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus to
visit Dear Love. She has kind thoughts of him, and
it is four whole days since she has seen him.
2i 4 THE STORY OF OPAL
First I brought out his nice pink ribbon that the
fairies did bring to him. I hung it on a branch of
willow. Then I did sit down. I had only a half a
Castoria bottle full of warm water, so I did have
needs to be careful in the use of it. First I did wash
his beautiful white paws. I dried them on my
apron as I did forget to bring his little towel. Dear
Love made that little towel for him. It is like her
big bath-towel. And she marked his initials on it
with red ink like Big Jud has a bottle of at school.
She put a dot after each letter. It is T. C. J. Z. on
his bath-towel. When I do have thinks about that
nice little bath-towel of his, I do give his paws a
wash, and if I have not the towel with me, I do dry
them with my apron.
So I did to-day, and we did go our way to the
little house of Dear Love, by the mill by the far
woods. In our going we went among the great
trees along little paths between tall ferns, and we
went over logs. When we were come near unto the
house of Dear Love, she did come to meet us. She
gave me two kisses, one on each cheek, and one on
the nose. She so does every time now since that
day when she did give me one on each cheek and I
did tell her Sadie McKibben does give me one on
the nose, too. She was so glad to see Thomas Chat-
terton Jupiter Zeus. We had a very nice visit. We
did sit on an old log under a big tree, and there was
some vines growing by that log, and we did have
talks. I did tell her how I was praying on every
THE STORY OF OPAL 215
day for her baby to come real soon. And we did
see a chipmunk that has some nice stripes on its
back, and I told her I was putting it into my prayer
for the angels to bring a baby brush with blue
fleurs on it, and a cradle-quilt with a blue bow on it,
when they do bring her baby, because I did have
thinks a blue fleur on its baby brush and a blue
bow on its cradle-quilt would look nicer witn its red
hair than pink ones would look. And she had
thinks like my thinks, and we saw a caterpillar.
Some caterpillars grow into butterflies. All cater-
pillars do not. Some grow into moths.
When I was coming my way home through the
far woods, from the house of Dear Love, I saw
more chipmunks and I saw her husband. He was
fixing a log. His hat it was not on him. It was
on a stump a little way away. He was most busy.
His sleeves were up in a roll unto his arms' middle.
He made bends over as he did work at that log.
A little fern by his foot had its growing up to the
fringes on the legs of his overalls. The sun did
come in between the grand trees, and it did shine
upon his head. I so do like to see the sun shine
upon the hair of the husband of Dear Love. I kept
most still as I did go along, and I did look looks
back. The sunbeams yet did shine upon his head.
When I did come more near unto the house we
do live in, I did see a squirrel in a chene tree. He
was a lovely gray squirrel. I came more near unto
the tree. I looked more looks at that gray squirrel
2i6 THE STORY OF OPAL
sitting out on a limb. His tail was very bushy. It
had many, many hairs on it. I did look at his tail
and I did look at the tail of my beautiful Thomas
Chatterton Jupiter Zeus. The hairs he does have
on his tail they are not so many as are the hairs
on the tail of that big gray squirrel. When I did
look looks from his tail to the tail of my dear
Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus, I did have some
wishes that there was as many hairs on his tail as
are on the tail of that gray squirrel.
While I so did think, Thomas Chatterton Jupi-
ter Zeus did nestle more close in my arms, and I
was glad for him as he is. He is so lovely and his
ways are ways of gentleness. We went on along
the dim trail. There by the dim trail grow the
honeysuckles. I nod to them as I go that way. In
the daytime I hear them talk with sunbeams and
the wind. They talk in shadows with the little
people of the sun. And this I have learned
grown-ups do not know the language of shadows.
Angel Mother and Angel Father did know, and
they taught me. I wish they were here now here
to listen with me. I do so want them. Sometimes
they do seem near. I have thinks sometimes kind
God just opens the gates of heaven and lets them
come out to be guardian angels for a little while.
I wonder if honeysuckles grow about the gates
of heaven. I've heard they are made of precious
jewels. I have thinks there will be flowers growing
all about. Probably God brought the seed from
THE STORY OF OPAL 217
heaven when he did plant the flowers here on
earth. Too, I do think when angels bring babies
from heaven to folks that live here below, they do
also bring seeds of flowers and do scatter them
about. I have thinks that they do this so the babies
may hear the voices of the loving flowers and grow
in the way of God.
How Opal Feels the Heat of the Sun, and Decorates a Goodly
Number of the White Poker-Chips of the Chore Boy,
TO-DAY I did n't get to finish the exploration
trip over the river, because just as I was starting
around the house-corner, after I did do my morning
work early, the mamma grabbed me. She did tie
me to the wood-shed corner with a piece of clothes-
line. So we couldn 't play together, she did tie to
another corner that very wise crow Lars Porsena
of Clusium. To the corner beyond the next corner,
to the corner that was the most longways off, she
did tie him. But we played peek-a-boo around the
middle corner. I'd lean just as far over as I could
with the rope a-pulling back my arms. Real quick,
I'd stretch my neck and peek and nod to Lars
Porsena of Clusium. Then he of Clusium would
flutter and say, "How-do-you-do," in squeaky crow
The day was growing warm. When it grew awful
hot my arms did have feelings too sore to lean over
any more. I sat down by the wood-shed wall and
I did watch the passers-by. First went along
Clementine, the Plymouth Rock hen. Then along
stepped Napoleon, the Rhode Island red rooster.
By and-by I did hear Solomon Grundy squealing
in the pig-pen. Then a butterfly did rest on the
THE STORY OF OPAL 219
handle of the pump where I did have longings to be.
The wee mother hummingbird never left her nest
on the lower oak limb. I could see her bill. I did
have hopes Brave Horatius would come marching
by. I called and I did hear his whine afar off. Then
I knew he was tied up too.
Another Plymouth Rock hen came walking by.
Over in the shade by the old root was a canard. He
did have a sleepy look. And I did have a sleepy
feel. I looked a short look at the sky. A merle was
flying over. I looked looks a-far off when I did look
near. The old black cat sat on the doorstep. He
had a saucer of milk, and then he did wash his face.
I would have been partly glad if he did come over
to see me. But I have n't made up with him since
he did catch the baby robin. I forgot the cat when
a snake did crawl around the stump, one with
stripes on it. I did have thinks it might at least
have come nearer, that I might count the stripes
on its back. But it did go under the house. A
grasshopper came hopping along. I stuck out my
foot and he did hop over it. Through the slats of
the chicken-coop I could see the mother hen with
her young ducklings. I did have longings to cuddle
them in my apron and I did want to take them
down to the brook. I was having very sad feels.
The sun got hotter and hotter. And pretty soon
I did have queer feels in the head and the middle.
Then my nose did begin to bleed. I felt all choked
up and sticky. And every time I gave my head a
220 THE STORY OF OPAL
shake to get a good breath, my curls did get mixed
up with the nose-bleed. Pretty soon the mamma
passing by did see my apron with blood upon it and
she untied me. After she did souse me in the tub
under the pump I felt better. My arms did tingle
where the rope was tied.
After that I went to bed, and near suppertime
the mamma did call me to wash the stockings of
the baby and the stockings of the other little girl.
I had needs to climb upon a stump to hang the
stockings out to dry. Then I set the table. While
I was carrying in the wood, I did crawl under the
house to find the snake with the stripes on his back;
but he was n't there, so I don't know how many
stripes he did have on his back. When the wood
was all stacked up in the wood-box and the kin-
dling under the stove, the mamma did say I might
take the ducklings to the brook. That did make
me very happy. All the way to the brook I did
sing, "Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus, Dominus Deus,
Te Deum laudamus."
There was rosee on the verdure everywhere this
morning, and the sunbeams made all the drops to
shine. And there was glory and gladness every-
where. When I did look upon it, I did have thinks
to go explores down along Nonette and into the
foret de Chantilly. But the mamma had not thinks
like my thinks. She did tell me of the many works
she did have for me to do, and I did go to do them.
THE STORY OF OPAL 221
But as I did go about to do them, I did have thinks
about the appears with rosee on them of the things
that grow where Nonette flows.
After the morning works was done, the mamma
did have me to mind the baby while she was making
it a dress. While I did mind the baby and while
the mamma was making a dress for the baby, I
made out of the piece what was left a christening
robe. I made it for a young rooster. It is n't the
first one I have made for him. But all the others
he has got too big to wear, and I have n't been able
to catch him yet.
A little time before I did eat my bowl of bread
and milk it was a little time before noontime
the mamma did take the little girl and the baby and
the dress she was making for the baby, and they all
did go to the house of her mother. She did have me
to help her to take them, and when they were come
to the door of the house of her mother, I did come
When I did eat my bowl of bread and milk, I did
have thinks I would make portraits of the folks in
the pasture and pig-pen this afternoon. I did have
decides to begin their portraits, and afterwards on
other days I will do more works on them. I did
make ready to go. I put more wood in the wood-
box so it would be full when the mamma came
home. Then I put four white poker-chips in my
apron pocket one is for the portrait of the gentle
Jersey cow. I will have to draw her head in a small
222 THE STORY OF OPAL
way, so the horns can go in the picture too. I have
thinks that the people who made poker-chips ought
to have made them with more bigness, so there
would be more room to put horns on the cows'
pictures that one does draw on poker-chips. One
of the other three poker-chips I did put into my
apron pocket is to draw Aphrodite's portrait on.
And one of them is to draw Elizabeth Barrett
Browning's picture on. And one is for someone
else that does live in the pasture. Now I go.
When I did get these pictures made, I did take
them to a log in the near woods that has got a
hollow place in it. There is room in this log for me
to take naps in on rainy days, and in this log I do
keep the white poker-chips with pictures on them.
In this log I do have a goodly number of white
poker-chips in rows, with portraits on them of the
animal folks that do dwell here about. All my
chums' pictures are there. There are five of Ma-
thilde Plantagenet on three poker-chips. And there
are seven of William Shakespeare that I did draw
in automne and hiver time. And, too, there are six
of dear Peter Paul Rubens that was.
And now four more portraits did go in the rows
to-day. There are nine more white poker-chips in
a little pile under the root of a stump close by the
old log. These nine white poker-chips are waiting
waits to have portraits made on them. When I do
get portraits made on most all the white poker-
chips I do have, then one of the logging men at the
THE STORY OF OPAL 223
mill by the far woods does give me more white
poker-chips to draw more pictures of Aphrodite
and Elizabeth Barrett Browning and all of us on.
The chore boy does have objects to my drawing
pictures on his poker-chips that he does hide in the
barn. It was one day when I was walking around
exploring in the barn and singing songs to William
Shakespeare and the gentle Jersey cow on that
day, and then I did find the poker-chips of the chore
boy where he did hide them away. I had not knows
whose they were, but the white ones all did lay
there in a heap having askings for pictures to be
drawn on them. So I did take some of them and I
did make portraits of Thomas Chatterton Jupiter
Zeus, and Louis II, le Grand Conde, and Brave
Horatius. Then I did put them back in their places
again. The day that was after that, I did take some
more and I did make portraits on them. On them
I did make portraits of Lars Porsena of Clusium
and Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil and Nannerl
Mozart and Felix Mendelssohn. Then I did carry
them back to their place in the barn. They did look
satisfaction looks there in that corner with por-
traits on them.
Then next day, when I was going down our lane
by the barn, the chore boy did come by the gate.
When I came through, he did give my curls a pull.
He did say in a cross way, " What for did you mark
up my nice poker-chips with your old pictures?"
Then I did have knows they were his poker-chips
224 THE STORY OF OPAL
there in the barn. I did tell him the white ones had
wants to have portraits on them and it was to give
them what they had wants for. I told him he better
draw pictures on what white ones was left that did
not have pictures on. I had thinks they would be
But the chore boy did not have thinks like my
thinks. He said he had more knows what poker-
chips want than I have thinks. He says poker-chips
want to be on a table in a game with men. I have
thinks he has not knows what he is talking about.
I have knows white poker-chips do have wants
for portraits to be drawn on them portraits of
Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus and Brave Hora-
tius and Lars Porsena of Clusium and all the rest.
After I did put the four new portraits in the old
log, I did follow a path that leads to a path that leads
to a path that goes to the house of Elsie. I so went
because I did have a little longing to rock again the
baby's cradle. Elsie was making for her young
husband a whipped-cream cake. He has such a
fondness for them. And she does make them for
him as often as there is cream enough. She was
stirring things together in the most big yellow bowl.
She did stir them in a quick way.
While she so did, the baby did have a wake-up.
She said I might rock it in its cradle. I went in a
quick way to do so. I did give its cradle little
touches on its corner with my fingers, and it did
rock in a gentle way. As the cradle so did rock
THE STORY OF OPAL 225
back and forth in that gentle way, I did sing to the
dear baby in it a little song. I did sing to it le chant
de fleurs that Angel Father did teach me to sing of
hyacinthe, eclaire, nenufar, rose, iris et dauphinelle
et oleandre et romarin, Us, eglantier, anemone, nar-
cisse et souci. I did sing it four times over, and the
baby did go to sleeps again. I do so love to watch
it in its cradle.
Afterwards I went to look for thoughts. Every
day now I do look for thoughts in flowers. Some-
times they are hidden away in the flower-bell
and sometimes I find them on a wild rose and
sometimes they are among the ferns and some-
times I climb away up in the trees to look looks for
them. So many thoughts do abide near unto us.
They come from heaven and live among the flowers
and the ferns, and often I find them in the trees.
I do so love to go on searches for the thoughts that
do dwell near about.
How Opal and the Little Birds from the Great Tree Have a
Happy Time at the House of Dear Love
WHEN I was come home from school this after-
noon, first I did go to the wood-shed to carry in
wood. I saw there was some new bran in the bran-
sack-box. That box is a big box. I make climbs
up on it sometimes to have thinks. And Thomas
Chatterton Jupiter Zeus makes a climb up too.
Then I get down and make a pile of wood high
enough so Brave Horatius can make a jump climb
up. We have likes for that big bran-sack-box.
Jenny Strong says why we do have likes for that
box is because it is a hard box to get up on. But
we do get up on it often. Sometimes I do eat my
bowl of bread and milk for supper there on the
There is another box in the wood-shed. In that
other box is a sack of wheat. In morning-time a
little bit of it goes with the scraps to feed the
chickens. In evening before gray-light-time more
wheat from that sack goes to feed the chickens. And
the chickens do have likes for that wheat from
that sack in that box. I strew it on the ground for
them in swings. I swing my arm a long swing and
then a short swing. When I do swing it a long
swing the wheat goes far. When I swing it a short
THE STORY OF OPAL 227
swing it goes not so. It goes only a little ways.
To-day I did swing my arm four long swings and
three short swings and two more long swings. The
chickens were glad to have it so. They did pick
up that wheat in a hurry way.
Then I went into the kitchen to get the egg-
turner to pat the dirt down good around that
tomato plant that's been dabbling its toes in the
brook and is now planted again. Just when I got it
most patted down right, so it looked real proper
just then the mamma stepped behind me. She
turned me over her knee. She would n't listen to
explanations. She just applied that egg-turner to
the back part of me. Now I feel too much sore
to sit down, so I lean over a stump [to print this. I
have thinks I will go goes to the house of Dear Love.
I so did. I went through the near woods and into
the far woods. In my going I went by where the
man of the long step that whistles most all of the
time does gather ferns for the pensee girl with the
far-away look in her eyes. There little ferns grow
tall and big ferns grow very tall. And sunbeams
and shadows are among them before gray-light-
tfme. It is the same place where the man that
wears gray neckties and is kind to mice did dig up
little ferns to make fern wishes to the fairies when
I put letters in the moss-box by the old log. But
now we dig not up little ferns here. We find them
in another place. We have feels the fairies would
like it, and these ferns grow there for the pensee
228 THE STORY OF OPAL
girl with the far-away look in her eyes. Often it is
now she is come to visit her aunt of the gray calico
dress with a black bow at its neck.
After I did say a little prayer at the growing-
place of the little tall ferns and the very tall ferns,
I did go on. I went on along a winding path that
goes in between old logs. I went a little way. I did
hear a little squeal. I did look looks about. There
was Solomon Grundy coming after me just as
quick as he could come. His little legs did bring
him in a quick way. I made a stop to wait for him.
He was joys all over when he did come up by me.
He did jump upon me. And his squeals were squeals
of gladness. Then we did go on together. We went
on. As we so did, I did sing to him one of the songs
Angel Father did teach me to sing. Every day I do
sing him one of them. To-day I did sing him un
chant des fleurs, de fete, d'oncle, of souci et eglan-
tine et pensee et tulipe et quintefeuille et ulmaire et
apalachine et tournesol et romarin et eclaire. He did
grunt grunts in-between times.
When we were come to the house of Dear Love,
they were standing by the steps. The husband of
Dear Love did bring home to her a little nest that
was in a tree that they did fall in the far woods
to-day. The nest it was a long nest. Its longness
was very long. I have thinks when the wind did go
through the woods sometimes this cradle did swing.
Its largeness was so long. The husband of Dear
Love did think these little birds were most ready
THE STORY OF OPAL 229
to fly from the nest when the tree did fall to-day.
All the six little birds but one did get death as the
tree did fall. They were such little things when we
did take them out. The one live one was hungry.
And we did feed him. We did feed him little bits at
a time a little bit of egg that was left in the
dinner-pail of the husband of Dear Love, did give
to this little bird some satisfaction feels. Dear Love
did cuddle it warm in her hands, and her husband
did make the piece of egg into little divides for me
to give to it. It did open its mouth most wide.
When I so did see it do, I did open my mouth
too, like it did. The husband of Dear Love did
laugh. I did have asking of him why he did laugh,
for it was not thoughtful to laugh at the little
hungry bird that did have so hungry feels and
lonesome ones. He did say in his gentle way that
it was not at the little bird he did laugh. He did
say he just did laugh sometimes when he had thinks
about things at work. I told him it was nice he had
thoughtfuls of the nest that they saw in the tree
after it did fall. He said he thought of me and that
made him think it would be nice to bring the nest
home, and he broke off another piece of egg for the
little bird. And more he so did. And every time I
did drop a piece of egg into the mouth of the little
bird, I did open my mouth wide, too, from seeing
the bird do it.
When it was full of satisfaction feels, Dear Love
did fix it all up nice in a warm little box. She is
THE STORY OF OPAL
going to give it careful cares so it will grow up.
She has asked me to pick out a name for it. I am
so going to do. And to-morrow I am going to have
the funerals of the other five little birds that did get
death as the tree did fall. Dear Love gave me
white soft pieces to wrap them in and the husband
of Dear Love says he will make the tombstones for
their graves. I am going to bury them at Dreux by
Blaise. There will they rest. On to-morrow it so
To-night when I was come home, I took the
pillow from my bed to sit on at the supper-table
because the back part of me did feel so sore from
that spanking the mamma gave me with the egg-
turner out in the garden to-day.
After supper-time I did have seeing out the win-
dow of the night. It was calling, " Petite Francoise,
come, petite Francoise." I went. Brave Horatius
followed after. We went adown the path. A big
silver yellow ball was coming up over the hill. We
made a stop. I did climb on a rock to watch its
coming. Brave Horatius put his nose by my hand.
I gave him pats. He looked up at me. I told him,
"C'est la pleine lune." We went on. We went on
to the hill where its coming was.
How Lola Wears her White Silk Dress at Last.
LOLA has got her white silk dress that she did
have so much wants for, and it has a little ruffle
around the neck and one around each sleeve like
she had wants for it to have. It is nice she is a
great lady now. She so did say at school she would
be a great lady when she did have her white silk
dress on. And, too, at school she did say the child-
ren would gather around her and sing, and they
did. And she did say at school, when the children
would gather around her and sing when she does
have her white silk dress on she did say then
she would stand up and stretch out her arms and
bestow her blessing on all of them like the deacon
does to the people in the church in the mill town
but she did n't. She did n't even raise up her
hands. She staid asleep in that long box the whole
time the children was marching around her and
singing "Nearer My God to Thee," and more songs.
She did just lay there in that long box with her
white silk dress on and her eyes shut and her hands
folded and she was very still all the time.
Her sister did cry. I did walk up to her and
touch her hand where she did sit in the rocking-
chair. I did have asks if it was a white silk dress
she was having wants for, too. And she patted my
2 3 2 THE STORY OF OPAL
hand and I told her maybe she would get a white
silk dress soon too, and how nice it was Lola did
have hers, what she had wants for and the ruf-
fles in its neck and sleeves. And Lola's sister did pat
me on the head and went out to her kitchen, and I
did go out of doors again.
And there was Brave Horatius by the steps, and
I saw a yellow butterfly and a little way away there
was a mud-puddle. By the mud-puddle was a
guepe. She came. She went. Every time she did
come she did take a bit of mud. I did watch. When
she was gone away, a little hole was where she
did take the mud. She did make comes again. It
was for mud she did come every time. Last time I
did follow after. It was a difficulty the follow-
ing after. She was so little a person and the way
she did go, it was a quick way. And I had seeing
she was making a cradle of mud for a baby guepe
Then I went a little way back. I saw a white
butterfly. I have wonders if Lola will wear her
white silk dress to school when fall time is come. I
saw one more white butterfly. I looked more looks
about. Among the grasses on a little bush there
was a katydid. And its green was a pretty green-
ness. Its wings, they were folded close. And it was
washing its front feet. I have thinks katydids do
keep their feet most clean. They do wash them
again and more times. I so do like to keep watches
of the way the katydid does clean its face with its
THE STORY OF OPAL 233
front foot. I have thinks to be a katydid would be
an interest life.
Brave Horatius and me looked looks away. We
did see the little pond. We went goes to it. Little
white fleurs were along the way. I have wonders if
Lola will wear her white silk dress when at school
they do play London Bridge is falling down. When
we was come to the little pond I lay myself down
close to its edge. I did look looks into the pond. I
saw things there. There were sky-clouds in the
water. I saw a crayfish come from under a rock. I
saw minnows all about. First they were still. Then
they made moves about. I saw a little cradle of
tiny stones. It was about an inch long. While I did
look looks at it, it walked off. Then me and Brave
Horatius did go on explores to the near woods.
Of the Ways that Fairies Write, and the Proper Way to Drink
in the Song of the Wood.
WHEN morning works was done, then I did go
calling on the folks that wear sun-bonnets. I
thought I better keep my sun-bonnet on my head,
being as I was going calling on sun-bonnet folks.
First I went to the garden to visit the pea family.
I shook hands all down the row and back up the
other row. Then I went to call on their neighbors
the beans. And I saw a rabbit in the garden near
unto the cabbages. I went a little nearer. I went
to see who it was. It was Madame Lapine. She is a
gentle woman and her ways are quiet ways, and
she does have a fondness for bits of apple. When-
ever I do have an apple I do save bits for her. Too,
she likes cabbage, and I have showed her the way
into the garden to get it when I am not there to get
it for her.
To-day, after I did have talks with most all the
folks in the garden and after, I did tell them about
this day being the crowning day of Louis XIV in
1654 an d the going-away day of Robert de Bruce
in 1329; then I did go out across the fields to have
talks with Aphrodite and Solomon Grundy and
Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael. Then it was I saw
THE STORY OF OPAL 235
the chore boy near unto the barn. He had a long
stick. He was knocking down the homes of the
swallows. There were broken cradles on the ground,
and there were grown-up swallows about with dis-
tresses in their flying. That did make me to have
so sad feels. I did tell him how dear are swallows,
but he would have no listens.
Afterwards I did go goes to the house of Sadie
McKibben. As I did go along I did have seeing of a
little thing in the road ahead. It was a very little
thing and it made little moves. They were only
flutterings. It went not away from where it was. I
did go in a hurry on. When I was come to it, I did
have seeing it was a little bird. It was a little bird
that was hurt by the step of a cow. I have thinks
it was making a try to make a go across the road.
I cuddled it up and I felt feels in my apron pocket
and there was some mentholatum. And I give it
some applys and we went to the hospital. And
I put it there on moss in a little soap-box room
where nothing can come and bring it more hurts.
And it did have likes for the water I gave it to
drink in a thimble, and more likes it did have for
the food I gave it to eat. I named it William Make-
Then I did go goes on to the house of Sadie
McKibben, and Brave Horatius and Lars Porsena
of Clusium went goes with me. Lars Porsena of
Clusium did ride part ways on the back of Brave
Horatius. When we was come to the house of
236 THE STORY OF OPAL
Sadie McKibben, she was having troubles. Just
when she did have her clothes all hung out, then
the clothes-line did break and they all had falls on
the ground. While she did gather them up, she
did have talks to herself. She did say, " 'Tis a folly
to fret; grief 's no comfort." When her bread gets
burns in the oven and the chickens bother on the
porch and the clothes boil over on the stove and
everything seems to go wrong, Sadie McKibben
has a way of saying, '"Tis a folly to fret; grief's no
While she was giving more wash-outs to them
clothes that did have a fall while the clothes-line
did break, she did sing. She sings on days when
sunshine is. She sings on days when rain is. Sadie
McKibben always sings before the summer rain as
does the robin.
To-day, when she did have them clothes part
hung on the line again, then it was the man that
wears gray neckties did come by on his way to the
mill town. He had asks if there was anythings she
was having needs of that he could bring back.
And she did say bacon and some soda and some
more things what she had needs of for to cook with.
While she told him, he did write it down. I
breathed a big breathe when I did see him write
it down, for he does write in the way that the fair-
ies write. I said, " Oh ! " He did turn himself around.
He did say, "What is it, little one?" And I did
tell him all in one breath. I did tell him, "Oh, it's
THE STORY OF OPAL 237
that you write in the way the fairies write that do
put things for me by the old log where the moss-
Then he did smile and he looked a long look out
the door. I have thinks he was thinking of the long-
ago time when the fairies did teach him to write
their way. When he did start to go, I heard him
say to Sadie McKibben, "I guess I will have to
change my writing." I most slipped off the chair
I was setting on the edge of. I had feels I better
speak to him about it. I had feels of the sorry feels
the fairies would feel when they had knowing he
was not going to write in the way they did teach
him to write. When he did tell me good-bye I did
say, "Please don't change your writing because
you write the way the fairies do. I have thinks the
way they write is lovely."
And he did smile his gentle smile. Then I did
tell him how sorry I knew the fairies would feel if
he wrote not on in their way. Then he did say he
guessed it would be a pretty hard thing trying
to write another way from what the fairies did teach
him to write. I have thinks it would so be. And
to-night in my prayers I will thank God the fairies
did teach the man that wears gray neckties and is
kind to mice to write in their way. It is a very
beautiful way. Some of the letters are like ripples
on the water. I have longings to write as the fairies
238 THE STORY OF OPAL
First thing I did do on the morning of to-day was
to go to prayers in the cathedral. When I was come
again to the house we live in, I did eat my breakfast.
For breakfast I do eat a bowl of bread and milk.
Then I did give the back porch a sweep-off. That
made its appears better. Then I did go to feed the
chickens, and after that I did go to feed the folks in
The caterpillars do eat so much. They do get
hungry feels inside them most often. When I did
have them well fed on this morning, I did make
tries to get some of them into their christening
robes so that they can be christened before they
do grow more old, and before they do grow too big
to wear their little christening robes. The matter
of making christening robes for caterpillars, it is
not a difficult one. The difficulty is to get a frisky
caterpillar to keep still while one is putting on his
christening robe . And then it is a problem to keep
it on after one does get it on. I do have much
troubles with caterpillars crawling out of their
christening robes after I do get them on.
Before I did get five caterpillars into their chris-
tening robes I did hear the mamma calling. She
did have needs of me. I ran a quick run to the
house. When I did walk in the door, I did hold up
my dress. Now the mamma makes me raise up my
dress when I come into the house so she can get a
good look at my underskirt all around. She does it
to see if I have any animals about me in the pockets
THE STORY OF OPAL 239
I pin on my underskirts. The mamma objects to
my bringing animals into the house. In the days of
now I am real careful not to be bringing in my
friends in these pockets when the mamma is at
home. This morning she did look satisfaction looks
when she saw not an animal in the pockets I have
pinned onto my underskirt.
When I was walked in she did send me again to
get wood. She did want the wood-box filled with
wood. Sometimes it takes an awful long time to
fill the wood-box. The longest time is when I am
in a hurry to go on exploration trips. While I did
pile the wood in, I did whisper my feels about it
all to Felix Mendelssohn, that was hiding up my
sleeve. Then the mamma said if I was born her
child, I would n't have had this longing to go on
exploration trips. Then she did send me to pick
elderberries. She did tell me to scoot up the tree
in a hurry. I did so. When I was up in the tree, I
did not hurry so to get the berries. I took looks
about. I looked to the divides in the road and
away to the blue hills. Then I sat on another limb
and looked looks more near. I did watch the little
pond. In the pond is a lily. The lily is a yellow
lily and it floats upon the water. It does float upon
the water like a little sky-star. Maybe it was a
little one that did have longings to cuddle in among
the raindrops that do come together in the pond.
I wonder how it came to be. I would like to know.
In the pasture by the pond I did see a mother
2 4 o THE STORY OF OPAL
sheep. I think it must be nice to be a sheep to
be a mother sheep and have a little lamb. Children
are such a blessing. When I did have my pail half
full of berries, I did stop to pick out names for the
twins I am going to have when I grow up. I did
pick out sixteen names and then, being as I could
not make decides between them, I did have decides
to pick out names for them some other day. And
I did begin at once to get that pail all full of elder-
When that was come to pass, I set the pail on a
little stump. Brave Horatius stayed to guard it,
and I did go the way that leads to the hill-top. I
did have longings to dance. Most every day I do
dance. I dance with the leaves and the grass. I
feel thrills from my toes to my curls. I feel like a
bird sometimes. Then I spread my arms for wings.
And I go my way from stump to stump and on
adown the hill. Sometimes I am a demoiselle flit-
ting near unto the water. Then I nod unto the
willows and they nod unto me. They wave their
arms and I wave mine. They wiggle their toes in
the water a bit and I do so too. And every time we
wiggle our toes we do drink into our souls the song
of the brook the glad song it is always singing.
And the joy-song does sing on in our hearts. So did
it to-day. And afterwards when I did go to get my
pail of elderberries, they were gone. They were
gone only a little way. Brave Horatius did have
feelings those elderberries ought to be going to the
THE STORY OF OPAL 241
house we live in. So he did make starts with them.
When I did catch up with him he did have the
pail-handle in his mouth. He was going in a slow
way. And only a few elderberries did spill out. I
have thinks they did roll out when he took the
bucket off the stump.
Of the Death of Lars Porsena of Clusium, and of the Com-
fort that Sadie McKibben can Give.
THE waters of the brook lap and lap. They come
in little ripples over gray stones. They are rippling
a song. It is a gentle song. It is a good-bye song to
Lars Porsena of Clusium. The time now is when
there is no Lars Porsena of Clusium. It was only
on yesterday. It was near eventime, when the
mamma was gone to the house of her mother. I
was making a go across the corn field to see the
tree-folks in the lane. Brave Horatius did follow
after me. Lars Porsena of Clusium was going on a
way ahead. His movements did look queer with
his tail-feathers not growed out yet. He went on.
He came a little way back to see if we were coming.
Then he started on in a hurry way. I was watching
him with joy feels in my heart. I was having thinks
how nice it would be when he does get his new tail-
feathers all growed out.
Brave Horatius did give a queer bark, and he
pulled the corner of my apron. I looked looks
about. There the chore boy was in a corner of the
corn field with a gun. He was pointing it out on
the field. I had thinks he had not seeing of my dear
Lars Porsena out there. I ran a quick run to keep
him from pulling that thing on the gun that makes
THE STORY OF OPAL 243
the noise and pains. I hollered hollers at him about
Lars Porsena of Clusium crossing the cornfield.
When I was come to where the chore boy was, I did
tell him he must not shoot that old gun a ball in
it might go as far as my dear Lars Porsena of
He just laughed a laugh, and he said he did
that Lars Porsena was nothing but a crow. And
then he pointed that gun right at my own dear
Lars Porsena of Clusium. The noise was a big
awful cal lamb of tea. I had feels I was killed dead
when I saw him fall. I ran a quick run. When I
was come to him, I found he was making little flut-
terings. When I did go to pick him up, he was wet
with much blood. I felt the shivers of his pains. I
wrapped my apron around him so he would not
have cold feels. There was much wetness upon
my apron as I did go along. It was wetness of
blood. The sky was more gray, and before I was
come to the house we live in, the raindrops were
coming down in a slow, sad way. I have thinks the
sky was crying tears for the hurts of Lars Porsena
of Clusium. And I was too.
I had longs for the man that wears gray neckties
and is kind to mice to be come back again. He and
other mill folks and Dear Love and her husband
and Sadie McKibben and her husband are all
away gone until to-morrow even-time. I had not
knows what to do for Lars Porsena of Clusium.
This was not like that time he lost his tail. I did
244 THE STORY OF OPAL
cuddle him up close in my arms, and I washed
off some of the blood, but more and more came.
And sleepy feels were upon him. I wrapped my
apron more close around him, and I did sing songs
to him about Ave Maria and "Sanctus, sanctus,
sanctus, Dominus Deus."
After the mamma was gone to bed and sleeps, I
did take Lars Porsena of Clusium to bed with me.
He was so sleepy. I cuddled him up in my arms
and we both did go to sleep, for tired feels was upon
us. When I had wake-ups early on this morning,
my own dear Lars Porsena was very cold and he
was very dead and stiffness was upon him. I did
have queer feels in my throat and pain feels all up
and down me. I so did want him alive again, to go
explores. When the mamma was most awake, I
climbed out the bedroom window with him in a
quick way. I went on. I did go until I was come
to the lane. And I did go on down our lane until I
was come to the tall fir tree, Good King Edward I.
I lay Lars Porsena of Clusium near unto Good King
Edward I, and I said a little prayer and I covered
him over with moss.
I now go to have his funeral at Dreux. Brave
Horatius too does wait waits, and quiet is upon
him. He has longs for Lars Porsena of Clusium to
come perch on his back. And the winds are calling,
and between the callings of the wind the willows
do call down by the creek. They beckon and call
to the soul of Lars Porsena of Clusium.
THE STORY OF OPAL 245
The clouds go slow across the sky. The water
goes slow in the brook. No one seems to be in a
hurry. Even the wind walks slow. I think she
wears a silk robe to-day. I can hear its faint rustle.
I think the wind is dreaming too. With the whis-
pering leaves she sings a dream-song. This is a
dream-day. I stopped in the dusty road and looked
a long while at the sun. It was round and a bright
shining. Then for a little time afterwards, every-
where I looked I saw a tiny bright shining, and
there was a queer feeling in my head.
When I was come to the field, Savonarola did
look like the flies were giving him some bothers. I
took my apron and shooed some of them off. I
could only reach a little way up. I have thinks it
did help some. The chore boy did not come for
some long time. While Savonarola waited his
coming, I did give him some more fans with my
apron. I had longings for the papa's newspaper. I
had thinks I could make that go more far up than
I could make my apron go. First I did stand on
one side of Savonarola and shake my apron at the
flies. Then I did stand on the other side of him.
Those flies were most lazy. They did n't want to
make moves at all. While I did make tries to make
the flies make moves away, I did sing a song of
fleurs of grandmere, offraxinelle, romarin, anemone,
narcisse, cornope, oleandre, iris, souci, eglantier,
marguerite, aubepine, renoncule, immortelle, eclaire,
anemone, myosotis, eglantier, lys, iris, eclaire, dau-
246 THE STORY OF OPAL
phinelle, ornithogale, romarin, lys, eglantier, anemone,
narcisse, souci, to Savonarola. Then I went to get
him a drink in my little bucket that I do hide
by the willows. He had likes for that drink of cold
water and some more. When that chore boy was
most come I did give Savonarola good-bye pats on
his velvet nose.
Afterwards I did go goes down by Launette and
on to Nonette where the willows grow. I did print
a message on a leaf. It was for the soul of Lars
Porsena of Clusium. I left it on a willow branch
with a little prayer that his soul would have finding
Then I did make begins to get ready for Aphro-
dite's foot-bath. She has needs for one most every
day. And most days she does get it. I do fill seven
Castoria bottles full of water. Then I put their
corks in, and all of them that will go into the lard-
pail I do so put in. Too, I have a little brush to
brush her feet with while I do give them splash-
water baths out of the Castoria bottles. Aphrodite
has likes for foot-baths, and some days she does
have likes for the shower-baths I do give to her out
of the little flower-sprinkler. I give her back
brushes and then some more showers from the
flower-sprinkler. That flower-sprinkler I did write
to the fairies for. I put the letter in the moss-box
by the old log where I do put other letters for the
fairies. The time it was not long until the fairies
did leave this flower-sprinkler for it. I water the
THE STORY OF OPAL 247
wild flowers after warm days and I water the plants
that do grow in the garden. I can almost hear the
tomato-plants say, "We were waiting for you,"
every time I do give them sprinkles. And the
cabbage-plants have likes for them, too. To-day,
after I did give shower-baths to Aphrodite and
Solomon Grundy and his sister Anthonya Mundy
that has not got as much curl in her tail as has
Solomon Grundy, then I did give shower-baths to
some more folks.
Afterwards I went to the cathedral to have
service there, for this is the going-away day of
Good King Edward I in 1307. Brave Horatius
went with me and so did Minerva. She wore her
cap with ruffles on it like the morning-cap of Jenny
Strong. Menander Euripides Theocritus Thucydi-
des walked by my side. And too Sir Francis Bacon
went with us. His leg has well feels a long time
now, but he walks not as other chickens walk. He
has likes to go to cathedral service, and so has
Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus.
To-day after I did sing, "Sanctus, sanctus,
sanctus, Dominus Deus," then we all did go goes to
the house of Sadie McKibben. When we was come
near unto it, there was Sadie McKibben on the big
gray rock under the old fir tree. Her hands made
quick moves with needles the kind that knit. She
was knitting socks for the man that is her husband
and does live at her house. I sat down on the
ground beside her. She had on her blue gingham
248 THE STORY OF OPAL
apron with the cross stitches on it. I did make
counts of thirty cross stitches on that apron to-day.
Some day I will count them all. There were some
grasses growing close to the gray rock, and their
little fingers did touch the cross stitches on the blue
gingham apron of Sadie McKibben. I have thinks
they too would like to cuddle up to Sadie McKibben.
Of the Fall of the Great Tree, and the Funeral of Aristotle.
TO-DAY was a long work-day. When afternoon-
time was come, the mamma was worried because
the cream was n't sour enough to churn, and she
wanted to get it churned before supper-time. I
wanted to help her. I feel so sorry for her when the
worry lines come on her face. They make her look
tired. While she was taking a nap by the baby on
the bed, I tried to think how I could help her.
By-and-by, after a time not very long, I thought of
a way. I got a lemon and cut it in two with the
butcher-knife. Then I took the lid off the big churn.
I squeezed those lemons lots of times into the
cream. Then, when they would n't leak any more
juice out, I put the rinds in for a finishing touch,
just like the mamma puts them into the lemonade
after she has squeezed all the squeeze out. I feel
better now. I know when the mamma awakes, joy
will be hers when she sees the cream is sour enough
But the feels the mamma did have when she had
wake-ups they was not joy feels; and the feels I
now have are sore feels on the back part of me.
While I did mind the baby, there was an odd
sound like someone crying a great way off. The
mamma says, "I wonder what it is." I know it is
THE STORY OF OPAL
the death-song of that gray fir tree they are falling
this afternoon. Sleeps is come upon the baby. The
mamma says for me to get out of her way. I go now
goes to the woods.
I did. I went on to where its growing was. It
reaches up and up most away to the clouds.
Days have been when I did sit by it to have thinks.
And Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus has gone
goes there with me, and Brave Horatius has waited
waits while I did say prayers by that great tree.
And I have told it all the things I am going to do
when I grow up. I have told it about the books I
am going to write about wood-folks and them of the
field, and about the twins I want when I grow up,
and the eight other children. And always I have
read to this great fir tree the letters I have wrote
and put in the big log for the fairies to take to
grandmere and grandpere. And night-times I have
heard the little wind-song among its arms most
near to the sky, and I have almost touched the big
gray shadow with velvet fingers that stays close by
it at night-time.
And to-day there I did watch and I did hear its
moans as the saw went through it. And I sat down
on the ground. There was a queer feel in my
throat and I could n't stand up. All the woods
seemed a still sound except the pain-sound of the
saw. It seemed like a little voice was calling from
the cliffs. And then it was many voices. They were
all little voices calling as one silver voice come
THE STORY OF OPAL 251
together. The saw it did n't stop it went on
sawing. Then I did have thinks the silver voice was
calling to the soul of the big fir tree. The saw did
stop. There was a stillness. There was a queer sad
sound. The big tree did quiver. It did sway. It
crashed to the earth.
Yesterday was the day of the funeral of Aris-
totle. He died of eating too many mosquitoes.
Now I have not three pet bats. I only have two pet
bats Plato and Pliny. And they are like mice
with angel wings. I have likes to watch Pliny
scratch his head with his hind-foot, and he does use
a part of his wonderful stretchy wing for a wash-
cloth. I have lonesome feels about Aristotle being
gone. I go now goes to the garden to get turnips
I did. And I give to them washes in the brook.
When I did take them in to put them on the cook-
table, the mamma and the grandma was talking
about the garden. The mamma did wonder where
that third cabbage-head was gone. I did n't. I
know. It is up the brook a ways dabbling its toes
in the water. I dug it up this morning and put it
there. To-night I shall plant it again in the garden.
It will have had a glad day dabbling its toes in the
brook. That does give one such a nice feel.
I have been sitting on a high stump looking looks
to where is the road. Now the sun shines yellow
and many flowers bloom yellow along the road.
252 THE STORY OF OPAL
When I grow up, I 'm going to write a book about
the folks that wear the sunshine color. I have
printed some prints for its begins.
When I was coming back from the stump, I saw
a spider. I stopped to watch him. He walked on
his web. There was a mosquito in the web. I
thought I would take that mosquito to Pliny to eat.
Before I could get to it, that spider ate that mos-
quito up. I came a come as near unto the chene
trees. I saw the black cat coming in a creep along.
He was coming more near unto the little squirrel
that had no seeing of his coming. I ran a more
quick run. I hollered a little holler. The little
squirrel did make a start to make a run. The cat
did make a jump. I so did too. The cat did begin
to make a quick run. I so did too. I fell over a little
root. That helped some because, when I fell, I did
catch the tail of that old black cat. I pulled it most
hard. He did drop the little squirrel and made
objects to my pulling his tail so.
Then I did get the baby squirrel. It was most
killed, but it was not killed dead. I did cuddle it up
in my hands and we did go the way that does go to
the hospital. I have metholatumed it and named
it Geoffroi Chaucer, and I have told it about this
being the day of the going-away of Innocent III
in 1216. Now I go goes to the cathedral to say
thanks for his borning and all the good he did do,
and to pray for the angels to bring a new baby to
the mamma and the papa when comes Easter-time.
How the Man of the Long Step that Whistles Most of the
Time Takes an Interesting Walk.
ONE of my tooths is loose and a queer feel. This
morning, after I did come back from prayers in the
cathedral with Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus,
it was then I did have feels of that tooth. It was
funny feels its being loose. After I did eat some
of my mush, I did go to the string-box and I pulled
out a string. It was a white one. There was lots of
white strings in that box, and a pink one and a
green one. I put the white string back and I pulled
out the green one. It was long very long feets
long. I did tie one part of it around my tooth with
carefuls. Then I did come a walk over to where
the broom stands behind the back door. I did tie
the other end of the long green string to the broom-
handle. And I kept hold of the middle of the string
in my hand so when the broom had falls it would
n't give a bump to my tooth when it did pull it out.
I went a walk off. The tooth did n't come out.
The green string did just have a slip off the broom-
I carried the string in a careful way while I did
go to bring in the wood and other morning works
the mamma did want done when she went away
to the grandma's house. When the works was done,
254 THE STORY OF OPAL
then I tied that string to the door-knob. I started
to walk off. Then I came back a ways. I decided to
wait a little while. I walked off again. I got most
far enough to get it jerked out. Then I thought
I 'd wait until after dinner. I took the string off my
tooth, but I left it on the door-knob to remind me
to do it after dinner. Now I go.
And I went goes to the woods with Lucian
Horace Ovid Virgil and Louis II, le Grand Conde.
And there I met a glad surprise. To-day the fairies
did bring more color pencils to the moss-box by the
old log. I had finding of them in the afternoon of
to-day. There was a blue one and a green one and
a yellow one and a purple one, and more there was
too. I looked looks at them, and I climbed up into
the tree that is close by the old log. I climbed up
to be more near the sky. There was songs in the
tree-tops and I did make a stop way below to have
listens. And I did look looks down on where is the
moss-box and the fleurs I have planted near unto
it and the ferns and the vines that do have growing
over the old log.
And while I did have watches of the plant-folks
that dwell about the moss-box, and while I did have
listens of the songs in the tree-tops, then it was
the pensee girl with the far-away look in her eyes
and the man of the long step that whistles most all
of the time did come walking through the woods.
It is often now they so come, and he does gather
ferns for her and they have listens to what the
THE STORY OF OPAL 255
brook sings. To-day they did n't make a stop by
the brook. They came right on and on. They so
did until they was come right up to where the
plant-folks dwell by the moss-box.
First I did have thinks they was coming comes
to leave a letter for the fairies. But they came and
they stood there they did not go goes away.
Then I had knows they did n't even see the moss-
box where I do leave the letters for the fairies.
They did almost step on it. I had sees there was
joy-lights in her eyes, and the looks he looked at
her was like the looks the young husband of Dear
Love does look at her when he is come home from
work at even-time. And I did reach out my arms
above them for blessings to come.
They had not knows of my reaching out my
arms above them. Only God had knows. They did
just have sees for one another. I have sure feels
they did n't see that green caterpillar having sleeps
under the green hazel leaf. He most stepped on the
moss-box. I most hollered. My loose tooth was
queer feels. He is a most strong man. He put his
arms around the -pensee girl and he most lifted her
off the ground. I had fears he would drop her on
the moss-box. I most did have losing of my bal-
ance on the tree-arm.
And I had sees of a chipmunk on a stump. He
was very saucy and had nice stripes on his back.
And he did sit up and talk chipmunk talk to an-
other chipmunk. I had hears of him and sees of
256 THE STORY OF OPAL
him. But the man of the long step and the pensee
girl did n't have sees of the chipmunk. He did take
out a ring of gold, and he did tell her that was his
mother's wedding-ring; and the caterpillar that
was asleep did have wake-ups, and he crawled a
little more under the hazel leaf. And a butterfly
went by it was a cream one with a nice ribbon
at its wing-edge and pinkish spots. I had thinks
about how nice it would be to be a butterfly and
come out of a little egg and be a caterpillar first
and have a lot of legs instead of just two legs like I
have got now. And I looked more looks at the fat
green caterpillar. I have more like him in the
He did kiss her again. Last year I had more
green caterpillars like unto this one. And they did
grow and change and they was very big brown
moths with velvet wings and velvet feet. And he
did say, "I want to help you to have all the love
joy in the world"; and I put more in my prayer
a baby soon. And the fat green caterpillar fell off
the leaf away down on the ground, but he fell on
some moss I have put about where is the moss-box.
And after his arm did touch the hazel bush he did
step over two steps. I breathed a big breathe of
reliefs about the moss-box not having steps on.
And he kissed her again. And the green caterpillar
made begins to crawl back up the hazel bush. And
I felt a big amount of satisfaction feels that they
was so happy. And I did whisper another prayer
THE STORY OF OPAL 257
for the angels to bring them a baby real soon, with
pink fleurs on its baby brush and a pink bow on its
And in the bushes there was a little bird and
restless was upon him. The color of him was blue-
gray, and there were streaks underneath and there
was a bit of yellow on his throat and so on top of his
head. He did move in a quick way. I so did, so I
could see him more. As I did go along a-following
him after, I did have sees of the tracks of the com-
ings and goings of little wood-folks. And a way
away was a soft-eyed faon. When it's with its
mother, then it is a daine. There was whispers in
the ferns and more songs in the tree-tops. And
my tooth had some more queer feels, and I had
remembers about the green string tied to the door-
I went a walk back. It was still there when I was
come to the house we live in. Brave Horatius was
by the steps. He did have watches of me while I
did tie the other end of the long green string around
my tooth. Then I went a quick walk to the other
door by step-backs. I made a reach out for the
green string. But it was n't. It was on the floor,
and my tooth was. After I did throw it away, then
I did do the green string up in a roll. I am going
to keep it.
I went goes to the garden to get the beets the
mamma did want for supper. While I did get
them, I did have seeing that the green dresses of the
258 THE STORY OF OPAL
turnip-folk are getting faded and old. I thought
they might like to have new white dresses. I went
again to the kitchen. I lifted the flour-sifter from
the flour-drawer in the cook-table. I did go back
to the garden. There I sifted flour on the turnip
folks. It came down in sprinkles like snowflakes.
That gave them the proper look. When the wind
came along, they nodded appreciation and some of
the flour slid off to the ground. And Brave Hora-
tius and I went to prayers in the cathedral, and so
went Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus and Menan-
der Euripides Theocritus Thucydides. And Ma-
thilde Plantagenet did wait waits at the pasture-
Of Taking-Egg Day, and the Remarkable Things that Befell
TO-DAY was taking-egg day. Taking-egg day
comes mostly one time a week. It is the day the
mamma does send me straight to take eggs to the
folks here about and yonder. First she does send
me to take them yonder, before she does send me to
take them hereabout. This she does because she
knows if she sends me first to take them to the
folks that live hereabout, I do stay so long with the
folks that live in the nursery and hospital that
there is n't time enough left to take eggs unto the
people that live yonder.
As quick as I did eat my breakfast, the mamma
did set out the lard-pail on the wash-bench with a
dozen eggs in it. As quick as she did so, I put on
my sun-bonnet. It is blue and has a ruffle on it.
Sometimes I wear it on my head, but most times it
hangs back over my shoulders. And often I carry
it over my arm with things in it earthworms for
baby birds, bandages for the folks that get hurt,
and mentholatum in quinine boxes. Then too on
exploration trips my chums ride in it. Sometimes
it's a mouse and sometimes it's a beetle. Very
often it is toads and caterpillars only they don't
ride in the sun-bonnet at the same time, because I
2 6o THE STORY OF OPAL
have learned toads like to eat caterpillars for break-
fast. Sometimes Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus,
that most dear velvety wood-rat, snuggles up in
my sun-bonnet. He most fills it up. A sun-bonnet
is a very useful garment.
After I did tie my bonnet-strings under my chin
in the proper way the mamma thinks they ought to
be tied, I walked over to the wash-bench in hip-
pity-hops to get that bucket of eggs. Before I took
up the bucket, I did look long looks at those eggs.
They were so plump and so white, and they did
have so nice a feel. I think being a hen must be a
very interesting life. How thrilling it must be to
cackle after one lays an egg. And then it must be
a big amount of satisfaction to have a large number
of children hatch out at the same time and fol-
low one about. I think I would like to be a hen in
the daytime, but I would n't like to roost in the
chicken-house at night.
When the mamma saw me looking long looks at
those eggs, she gave to me a shoulder-shake and
told me to get a hurry on me and take those eggs
straight to Mrs. Limberger yonder. That Mrs.
Limberger is the quite plump wife of that quite big
man that lives in a quite big house that is nice but
is n't as nice as his lane. I thought I'd go straight
to Mrs. Limberger's in along that lane from out
along the field; but first I did go by to get Felix
When I got to where he was, it was very near
THE STORY OF OPAL 261
unto the altar of Good King Edward I. And being
as this was the day of his crowning in 1274, I
thought I would just go a little farther, to see if
the crown I planted in little plants there on the
altar were growing in a nice way. They were.
When I planted them there from the woods in
spring days, I did hope they would burst into
bloom on this his crowning day and make a crown
of flowers on his altar. But the dear little things
got in a hurry, and did bloom more than a month
ago. But they were saying to-day beautiful things
with their leaves. I heard them as I did kneel
to pray to thank God for Good King Edward I.
After I did pray quite a long time and Felix
Mendelssohn got a little fidgety, I started on to
take the eleven eggs that were left straight to Mrs.
Limberger. The other egg I could not take be-
cause when I did kneel to pray, in some way it did
roll out of the bucket, and before I was through my
prayers a little gray rock by my hand just rolled
off the altar and met the egg. There are a lot of
little gray rocks on the altar. It is mostly made up
of little rocks and some big ones. While I was
making that altar, the man that works at the mill
and wears gray neckties and is kind to mice came
along. And the big rocks that were too big he did
lift and place on the altar there. And then he did
help me to plant mosses in between some of the
rocks. That made me happy. Men are such a bless-
ing to have about.
262 THE STORY OF OPAL
To-day I did go from the altar to the field. Along
the way I stopped to talk to the trees and to watch
the birds and to get berries for the nursery. I put
them in the bucket with the eggs. I most lost my
bonnet climbing over the fence, and I did lose three
more of those eggs and some of the berries for the
nursery. I picked up the berries and put them back
in the lard-pail, but the eggs I could not pick up.
I did n't put my sun-bonnet back on my head
again, but I did give the strings a little tie in front
so it would n't come off. Very soon after I saw a
little snake. He was crawling along. When I see
snakes, I like to stop and watch them. The dresses
they wear fit them tight. They can't fluff out their
clothes like birds can, but snakes are quick people.
They move in such a pretty way. Their eyes are
bright and their tongues are slim.
When that snake crawled away where I could n't
see him any more, I walked over to talk to a flower.
After we did have conversation for some time, I
happened to think the mamma did say to hurry;
so I said good-bye, and when I did, I put my nose
to the flower to smell it. It had a pleasant odor. I
went on. Pretty soon I felt something on my nose.
I wiped it off. It was pollen from that flower. I
put it on an egg in the lard-pail. That gave that
egg a flowery look. I showed it to an ear of corn,
and then, as I did go along, I stopped to take the
clods away from the roots of some of the corn-
plants so the toes of their roots could have some
THE STORY OF OPAL 263
fresh air. They quivered appreciations, and some
did bow down most to the ground to thank me
after I was done.
I proceeded. The day was most warm. When I
did cross the creek I looked down it and up it.
There were fairy demoiselles near unto the water.
Their wings did shimmer in the sunlight. All along
its edges the willows were dabbling their toes.
Some had waded in a little bit about enough to
get their ankles wet. I looked long looks at them.
I knew just how they did feel inside while they were
dabbling their toes in the water. It is such a nice
feel to have.
I started on. I looked back. I started on. I
turned and came back a little ways just to take
a good-bye look. The willows waved their hands
to me. They called to me, "Petite Francoise,
petite Francoise." I hurried on with the eggs. I
had got twice as far as I did get before. Then I
started back to the creek. I ran all the way. When
I arrived I took off my shoes. I hung my stock-
ings on a willow branch. Then I sat on the edge
of the bank and dabbled my toes. One drinks in
so much inspiration while one is dabbling one's
toes in a willow creek. And one does hear the talk-
ings of plants that dwell near unto the water.
While I was dabbling my toes, my legs did have
longings to go in wading, but I went not in. Some-
thing might have happened to what was left of
that dozen eggs the mamma was sending straight
264 THE STORY OF OPAL
to Mrs. Limberger, and that was why I did not go.
And I did not take Felix Mendelssohn out of the
pocket he was riding in, that he might dabble his
toes. I took him not out, for he has no longings to
dabble his toes in a brook. He has prefers to dabble
his toes in cheese. Though I do feel most certain
one does n ? t get near so much inspirations when one
dabbles one's toes in cheese as one gets when one
dabbles one's toes in waters that sing. After I did
take in a goodly amount of inspirations, I drew my
toes away from the water and let the sun dry my
feet so I could put my stockings on. While I was
lacing my shoes up, I looked looks around to see
what was near about. A little way distant was a
When I did have my shoes most laced up to the
top, I gave the strings a tuck in and started on. I
saw a bourdon. He was plump in body and he did
give a plump buzz. I did halt to screwtineyes him
and to listen to more of those plump buzzings of his.
They were cool sounds. What ones I did hear were
so. He was a bourdon in a hurry, and he went on
in a quick way. And I went on in a slow way. The
sun was so hot. It made me squint my eyes, so I
put my bonnet on. That made things better.
Pretty soon I met Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Then we went walking across the field. I took off
my sun-bonnet and tied it on Elizabeth Barrett
Browning so the sun would n't bother her eyes.
And she did go her way and I did go mine. W T e
THE STORY OF OPAL 265
shall meet again at the pasture-bars when comes
When I did say good-bye to Elizabeth Barrett
Browning, I went the way that leads to this hay-
stack. And here I have stopped. A haystack is
such an interesting place. It's a nice place to ex-
plore. I think so. Mice think so. Sometimes
quite often when I am crawling back in a hay-
stack, I do meet a mouse, which is very nice, for
mice are nice folks to know. And now to-day, when
I did crawl back away under the straw I did find
something. What I did find made me feel grati-
tudes from my curls to my toes. It was a nest full of
eggs and nobody had used an egg from it. There
are there were just fifteen eggs under the hay.
They are not near so white as are those eight eggs
the mamma is sending straight to Mrs. Limberger,
but they do have more smooth feels. Oh, such satin
feels! They are so slick they came most slipping
right out of my hands, but they did n't.
Four and two I have took. I have put them here
in the pail. I do know Mrs. Limberger does so like
to have things with satin feels about her. I have
heard her expressions so when I was taking eggs to
her before. Now I think she will beam delights all
over her plumpness when she does see the satin
feel eggs in this pail. I have placed them on top so
she will see them first of all. Too, I think her eyes
will kink when she finds she has got a dozen eggs
and two. I wonder what she will be doing with
266 THE STORY OF OPAL
those two extra eggs. Now I '11 just get a hurry on
me and take them straight to her. And I will hide
these printings of to-day in a little box here in the
haystack until comes eventime. And I will come
back again for them when I come to meet Eliza-
beth Barrett Browning at the pasture-bars.
I 'm back again. I did go straight from this hay-
stack with the two and dozen eggs to the door of
the house of Mrs. Limberger. When I did get there
she was talking with a woman. The woman was the
beautiful Sadie McKibben, and she wore upon her
a new dress like the blossoms of avalon growing in
the marshes, and there were freckles on it like the
freckles on her face, and both were beautiful. Also
did Mrs. Limberger wear a new dress. It was black
and had a yellow stripe in it like unto one of those
yellow stripes the garter-snake wears on his back.
When I did walk soft upon the porch they were
so busy talking they heard me not. I reached out
the eggs. Yet they were so busy talking they saw
them not. Then I did edge over to Sadie McKibben.
I gave her sleeve a little pull. She looked down at
me and smiled. She went on talking. She gave each
one of my curls a smooth-out while she talked on.
When she did get most done with her part of the
conversation, Mrs. Limberger did happen to see the
eggs I was holding out to her. She reached and took
them. I was glad, but my arm was the most glad
part of me because it did have a tired feeling from
holding the bucket out so long.
THE STORY OF OPAL 267
She did n't even notice those satin eggs on top.
She did begin to talk about the many ribbons and
the many ruffles the new woman wears that lives
up the corduroy road. She talked on and on, and I
did wait on for the lard-pail the eggs were in. And
I did get fidgety, for she was n't holding the bucket
straight by the middle of its loop as a bucket ought
to be held. I had a little fear she would drop that
bucket. That would make a dent in it. And I knew
what a spanking I would get if I took that pail
home with a dent in it. I did stick my finger in my
mouth to keep from speaking to her about it.
Just when I had feels how that spanking was
going to feel, she did take a firm hold on the handle.
But she did n't take it in the middle. That did
make the bucket to tip. She went on talking. She
took a big breath and two of those satin-feel eggs
did roll out. They bounced. They broke. Mrs.
Limberger kinked her nose quick. She put her new
black dress to it. Sadie McKibben too did put her
new dress to her nose in a quick way. And my
apron so did I put to my nose. Now this I know
for there I learned, an egg with a satin feel may feel
proper, but inside it is not so, and if it gets a fall,
it is only a queer odor that one does have longings
to run away from.
But Mrs. Limberger made me stay right there
and carry water from the pump and scrub all the
bad odors off her back porch. I think some of them
odors was n't from the two eggs with satin feels.
268 THE STORY OF OPAL
When I confided my feelings about the matter to
Felix Mendelssohn, Mrs. Limberger did tell me to
go on scrubbing. She said whatever smells might
have been there you could n't get a whiff of, on
account of the multiplications of smells that came
from the two eggs. Sadie McKibben did help me
to scrub. She did ask Mrs. Limberger not to men-
tion the matter to the mamma. Also she said she
was going by that way to-morrow and would bring
the four eggs to make up the dozen.
When I started home Sadie McKibben did give
to me a good-bye kiss on each cheek. She knew
how I do long for kisses, and how the mamma has
n't time to give me any. When I walked by Mrs.
Limberger I did look the other way. As I passed
she gave me a pat, and when she did, Felix Men-
delssohn squeaked. When she gave me the pat, it
went through my dress onto the back of the head of
Felix Mendelssohn in a pocket in my underskirt.
And he being a mouse of a musical tendency does
object to being patted on the back of the head.
He prefers to have pats on his throat. And he
won't let anybody give them but me.
I went on in a hurry to home. The mamma came
a little ways from the door to meet me. Behind her
was a switch. I saw both ends sticking out. I did
give my skirt a shake so Felix Mendelssohn would
get out and away. It would be awful for him to
get hurt by a whipping. It might hurt his soul.
After the mamma did tend to me as usual, I put
THE STORY OF OPAL 269
some mentholatum on the places where the whip
did hit most hard. Then I did go to take eggs to the
folks that live hereabout. I went in a hurry. After
that there were baby clothes to be washed and
wood to be brought in. Then the mamma told me
to go find my sun-bonnet and not to come back un-
til I did find it. I went again to the altar of Good
King Edward I to pray. Then I went to the nurs-
ery and the hospital and came again here where I
print. Now I do see Elizabeth Barrett Browning
at the pasture-bars. And she has got my sun-bon-
net on. I knew we would meet again at eventide at
the pasture-bars, for often we do and often on hot
days she wears my sun-bonnet until we meet again.
It does so help to keep the sun from hurting her
Of the Strange Adventure in the Woods on the Going-Away
Day of Saint Louis.
VERY early on the morning of to-day I did go
unto the cathedral, for this is the going-away day
of Saint Louis in 1270. I went there to sing a thank
song for his goodness and to say prayers. I did sing
the song of Saint Louis that Angel Father did teach
me to sing. The little leaves on the bushes growing
there under the grand trees their little leaves did
whisper little whispers. I have thinks those little
whispers were thank songs for the goodness of
Saint Louis. Sometimes I did hear little bird voices
in between the singing of the songs. I have thinks
they were singing the same thank song I did sing
only they were singing it in their way. And when I
came again home, the brook was singing the same
After other works was done at the house we live
in on this morning, the mamma did have me to
stand on a box on a chair and give to the windows
some washes. Then she did have me to give the
steps some scrubs. While I so did, I looked looks
about. On the porch-end was a little spider. He
made moves in a little quick way. A guepe came
near unto him. She made no stops. She came on to
him. She did carry that spider away.
THE STORY OF OPAL 271
Pretty soon I did have those steps all clean
nice and clean. Then the mamma did have me to
help her to take the children to the house of her
mamma. She and they stayed there all day. I so
did not do. When they were come to the door of
the ranch-house, I did go goes in the way that goes
to the pasture-bars. I so did go to tell the folks in
the pasture what day it was.
It was most warm when I was come to the far
end of the pasture. The folks of the pasture were
not out in the sun. They were in shade. Elizabeth
Barrett Browning was under a big chene tree. She
did look gentle looks at me. And I did put my
arm around her neck and tell her all about whose
day it was. Then I went on to tell the gentle Jersey
cow. She was near some more chene trees. I went
on. She followed after. She did come with me as
far as the brook. I watched her take a long drink.
The day it was so warm. Elizabeth Barrett
Browning did come for a drink. I had thinks of
Aphrodite in the pig-pen. I looked looks about for
the little bucket I do carry drinks of water in to
my friends. I found it where I did hide it by the
willow bush. Then I did go to take a drink of cold
water to Aphrodite in the pig-pen. These warm
days she does have longings for a drink of cold
water. She did grunt grunts of appreciations. Then
she did grunt another grunt. I have thinks that
other grunt was to tell me not to have forgets to
take a drink of cold water to Cassiopee. I so did.
272 THE STORY OF OPAL
Cassiopee is a pig that does belong to the man that
our lane does belong to.
After I did tell them all about it being the going-
away day of Saint Louis, I did go my way to the
garden. The golden rod did nod, "It is good that
he is born." The tall sunflowers in the garden
there did say, "It is his day, it is his day." I went
adown the carrot-rows. They were all whispering
soft whispers. I have thinks they were saying little
thank prayers for the goodness of Saint Louis. The
cabbage-plants were all smiling as I passed them by.
I think they are right glad for the drink of water I
gave each one of them last night.
From the garden I did go to tell other folks. I
did sing the little song of Saint Louis as I did go
along. The sun, it was hot down on my head. I
took two big maple leaves and they did some help
to keep its warmness from my head. I went on.
Once at the edge of the near woods I met with my
dear Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus. We went
on together. I did carry him in one arm, and I did
hold a maple leaf over him with the other hand. A
long way we went, in about and out about, and
many little folks we did tell about this day being
the going-away day of Saint Louis.
By-and-by, after it was a very long time, there
was no sun. The warmness did have a different
feel. There were gray clouds in the sky. Some were
darkness. I did go in hurry steps. I went not from
the road. I did go the way it went around the bend.
THE STORY OF OPAL 273
More dark clouds did roll across the sky. More
grayness was over all. Thomas Chatterton Jupiter
Zeus in my bonnet did make a move. I did almost
drop him. I made a stop to wrap him more up in
the sun-bonnet. Then I did hurry on. I climbed
the lane gate. It was more quick to so do than to
pull the plug out that swings the gate open. I
went on. There was a great noise. Thomas Chat-
terton Jupiter Zeus poked his nose out of the sun-
bonnet. He cuddled up against me. The great
noise came again. I whispered to him, "II tonne."
We went on. In-between times there was fire in the
sky. It made moves in a quick way. After it was
the coming of the great noise. Every time I did
whisper to Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus, "II
tonne." I so did, so he would not have thinks the
great noise was something else.
When we were come near the ending of the lane,
there was some very big pats of rain. One fell on
my nose, and it did roll off onto the back of
Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus. I cuddled him
up more close as more loud noises did come. When
we were at the ending of the lane, there was Brave
Horatius waiting for us. I have thinks he had been
on looks for us. His looks did look like he had.
We went on together. We was just a-going to
start down the path that does lead to our house
when we did hear a calling. It was a mournful
sound. I had thinks some little life was much hurt
and did have needs of my help. I felt for the little
274 THE STORY OF OPAL
box of mentholatum in my pocket. It was there,
and some bandages too. The sound came again.
Somewhere in the near woods a voice was calling.
I followed it after. Once I did have thinks it came
from a root. And then it was like it did come from
a big tree. It was a pain-voice like someone calling
someone to come. Then it was like a lost voice
trying to find its way among the ferns. It was not
a word-voice. It was just a voice without words.
I did have wonders what voice it was. I followed
after its queer callings. Brave Horatius followed
after me. He would stop and look queer puzzle-
looks at nowhere. We did go on. The voice sound
came again. Then it was like a voice lost from the
person it did belong to. It was a clear low cry, like
a ripple of gray ribbon. We were more near to it.
We followed it around a big tree. There it was
come from the man on the stump, between that
tree and the big tree that was beyond it. The man,
he did throw back his head and the voice came out
his throat and went to nowhere. It came again
like little bits of queer green fire flame, and then
it was low and again like a ripple of gray ribbon.
As it was so he did turn his face about. It was the
face of the husband of Sadie McKibben; but the
look the look in his eyes was a queer wild look
that looked looks at nowhere.
How Opal Makes Prepares to Move. How she Collects All
the Necessary Things, Bids Good-bye to Dear Love, and
Learns that her Prayer has been Answered.
WE are going to move to the mill town. For a
whole week, every morning now after the morning
works is done the mamma does have me to help her
make prepares to move; and after I do be helps to
the mamma, then I do work at making prepares
for moving my belongings when we go goes to the
I have made begins a week ago. I have been
carrying my belongings to inside an old log a little
way away from the house we do live in. Moving is
a big amount of problem. But mostly now I do
have my prepares done. I am going to take with
me when we go goes to the mill just my necessary
things the mamma does say none but my neces-
sary things can go. She said that was my blue
calico apron and my gray calico apron and the
clothes that goes under them and my two pair of
stockings and the shoes I have on and my sun-
bonnet and my slate and Cyr's Reader.
But I have some more necessary things that the
mamma has not knows of. There is my two books
that Angel Mother and Angel Father did write in
and I do study in every day, and the pictures of
276 THE STORY OF OPAL
mother and pere and the pictures of grandmere
^and grandpere and tante and tante and oncle, and
all the others that I do love much every day; and
to-day there was needs to give the dear picture of
pere a wash in the brook because last time on yes-
terday, when I did kiss him, a little piece of jam
from my bread and butter got on his dear face that
does look so like him. And after I did come from
the brook I put them all away in a careful way in
the box I do keep them in, and I said a little
And I went to bring to the old log the willow
whistle the shepherd did make for me when it was
the borning time of the lambs, and the two flutes
he did make of reeds. And now I do have most of
my necessaries in the hollow log. There by it is the
lily plant the soul of Peter Paul Rubens has loves
for to be near. And I have planted it in a little
flower-pot Sadie McKibben has given to me. And
when we are moved moves to the mill town I will
put the lily plant under the window of the room I
do have sleeps in, so that what the soul of Peter
Paul Rubens does love to be near will be near unto
where I am.
And in the hollow log there is the old logging
boot of the husband of Dear Love, that he has
given me to keep some of my rock collections in.
And there is the bath-towel of Thomas Chatterton
Jupiter Zeus that Dear Love has made for him.
And there is the color pencils that the fairies did
THE STORY OF OPAL 277
bring to the moss-box. And there is many brown
papers that Sadie McKibben has given me to print
prints on. And there is the cushion Lola did make
for Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil to sit on in my desk
at school. And there is all the patches I do pin on
my underskirt for my animal friends to ride in.
And there is the track of Elizabeth Barrett Brown-
ing that I did dig up in the lane. It has so much of
poetry in it. And there is one of the gray neckties
of the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to
mice, that he did give to me for Brave Horatius to
wear. And there is the bib of Elsie's baby that
Elsie did give me for Menander Euripides Theoc-
ritus Thucydides to wear when he was nursing the
And there is seven of the tail-feathers of Lars
Porsena that he did lose when he did lose his tail.
And there is four old horse-shoes of William Shake-
speare that the blacksmith did have allows for me
to have when he was putting new shoes onto Wil-
liam Shakespeare. And there is the thimble of
Dear Love that she has given me to carry drinks of
water to the folks in the hospital. And there is the
little bell of Peter Paul Rubens that he did use to
wear to service in the cathedral. And there is
Elsie's baby's little old shoe that got worn out
and she gave it to me for Nannerl Mozart to sleep
in. And there is the lid of Sadie McKibben's coffee-
pot that she did give me when it came off. She
always did sing over that lid when cooking-time
278 THE STORY OF OPAL
was come. And there is the traveling-case of
Minerva that the pensee girl with the far-away
look in her eyes did make for me to carry all the
christening robes of Minerva's children in, and more
pieces of white cloth and little ribbons the pensee
girl did put into Minerva's traveling case for chris-
tening-time corne next year. And there is the
egg-shells Ben Jonson and Sir Francis Bacon and
Pius VII and Nicholas Boileau and Edmund Spen-
ser and Oliver Goldsmith and John Fletcher and
Francis Beaumont and Cardinal Richelieu and Sir
Walter Raleigh and the rest of Minerva's children
hatched out of. I have thinks there is needs for me
to carry those egg-shells in my apron when we go
moves to the mill town, so they will not have
breaks. And there is the little gray shawl Sadie
McKibben so made for Nannerl Mozart.
And there is the little cap that Dear Love did
make for my Louis II, le Grand Conde. It has got
a feather in it. He did nibble the end off the feather,
and he had mouse-wants to chew the tassel that
she did put on the bag she did make for me to carry
him in. And there is the ribbon bow off Elsie's
garter she did give me for Felix Mendelssohn to
wear. I have heard the women folks at the farm-
house say this world would be a nice world if there
were n't any mice in it. I think it would be a most
lonesome place. And there is the big handker-
chief of the man of the long step that whistles most
all of the time that he did give to me for Brave
THE STORY OF OPAL 279
Horatius to wear around his neck. And there is
Elsie's old lace collar that Elizabeth Barrett Brown-
ing does wear to cathedral service. And there is
one of the whiskers of Thomas Chatterton Jupiter
Zeus that he did lose.
And there is all the portraits of my friends on
poker-chips. And there is the other white poker-
chips that are waiting waits for pictures to be
drawed on them. And there is the blue and the
red poker-chips that is the breakfast and supper
plates of the folks in the nursery and the hospital.
And there is Minerva's white cap that she does
wear to cathedral service with the ruffles on it like
are on the morning cap of Jenny Strong. And there
is the long green string I pulled my tooth with.
And there is the split jacket of Padre Martini, that
he did last wear before he was become a grown-up
cigale. And there is the bottle of Menander Eurip-
ides Theocritus Thucydides the bottle that used
to be a brandy bottle. And there is the skins of the
caterpillars they did grow too big for when they
were growing into papillons and phalenes. And
there is the two tail-feathers of Agamemnon Mene-
laus Dindon. And there is Solomon Grundy's
christening robe. And there is the little fleur water-
ing-pot the fairies did bring that I do give my
friends shower-baths with. And there is the cocoon
that Charlotte Bronte, the big velvet brown pha-
lene, did hatch out of; and there is more cocoons
that other phalenes did hatch out of. And there is
280 THE STORY OF OPAL
the ribbon bow Elsie has given me off her other
garter for the pet squirrel Geoifroi Chaucer that
the cat did hurt but is well again. And there is a
whole new box of metholatum that Sadie McKibben
has given me for the little folks I find with hurts in
the mill town. And there is the four vaseline bottles
that got empty after the young husband of Elsie
did use all the vaseline in them to keep his pumpa-
door smooth. I have uses for those vaseline bottles
to keep food in for the folks of the nursery.
These things I have now in the log. Others of
my necessary things I will bring this eventime and
on to-morrow and the next day and the day after
Some of us go to the mill town, but not all of us
so go. Dear Solomon Grundy is sold to a man that
does live at one of the edges of the mill town.
Aphrodite is going to stay stays here, and so
is Mathilde Plantagenet and Elizabeth Barrett
Browning and Anthonya Mundy and the gentle
Jersey cow and Savonarola and Agamemnon Men-
elaus Dindon; and Plato and Pliny are going to live
on in the barn. Brave Horatius is going goes with
Aidan of lona come from Lindisfarne, and too
Menander Euripides Theocritus Thucydides is go-
ing with the shepherd to the blue hills.
Minerva is going to town with us, and so is Sir
Francis Bacon and Ben Jonson and Pius VII and
Nicholas Boileau and Sir Walter Raleigh and all
the rest of her dear children, and Clementine and
THE STORY OF OPAL 281
Napoleon and Andromeda. And by-and-by Thomas
Chatterton Jupiter Zeus is coming comes to the
mill town, and so is Felix Mendelssohn and Louis
II, le Grand Conde, and Nannerl Mozart and
some of her children, and Lucian Horace Ovid
Virgil and Geoffroi Chaucer and the caterpillar
folks in the nursery. All are when I do have homes
fixed for them about the house we are going to live
in in the mill town.
Until then Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus is
going to stay with Dear Love and her husband,
and, too, Dear Love does say Lucian Horace Ovid
Virgil can live under her doorsteps until I do have a
place fixed for him under the doorstep of the house
we are going to live in in the mill town. And Sadie
McKibben is going to take care of Geoffroi Chaucer
and bring him in to me at the house we are going to
live in at the mill town. And the man that wears
gray neckties and is kind to mice is going to take
care of all my mouse friends in his bunk-house, and
he is going goes to feed the folks in the nursery and
And often it is I am going to come comes back
again here to cathedral service and talks with them
I know, and to leave letters for the fairies in the
moss-box. I have thinks about the mill town.
Maybe in the fields over on the other side of the
mill town maybe there there will be etourneau
and ortolan and draine and durbec and loriot and
verdier and rossignol and pinson and pivoine. When
282 THE STORY OF OPAL
I am come to the mill town, I will go explores to
see, and I will build altars for Saint Louis. Now I
go to see Dear Love.
When I was come near unto her little house, I
had seeing of Dear Love. She was sitting on the
steps by her door drying her hair in the sun. It did
wave little ripples of light when the wind did go in a
gentle way by. She let me have feels of its touches.
And she did give me a kiss on each cheek and one
on the nose when she lifted me onto her lap. And
then Dear Love did tell me a secret. It's hers and
her husband's secret that the angels did let them
know ahead they are going to have a baby soon.
I felt a big amount of satisfaction. It is about
time that prayer was answered. Some prayers you
pray a little while and answers come. Some prayers
you pray more times and answers don't come. I
have not knows of why. But prayers for babies
get answered soon most always they do. The
time is so long I have been praying prayers for Dear
Love to have a baby soon. And now the angels
have told her it's going to come in about five
months. I have thinks that is quite a time long to
And Dear Love has showed me the clothes the
angels did tell her to make ahead for its coming.
And there is two little shirts and bands, and very
long underskirts with feather stitches in them, and
there's a little cream kimona with a blue ribbon
bow on it. I looked looks at it a long time. And
THE STORY OF OPAL 283
Dear Love said she was going to make one just like
it for Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus. I am glad.
And there was more little clothes, and while we was
looking at them the husband of Dear Love did come
in the door and he did look adores at Dear Love.
It's just our secret just Dear Love's and her
husband's and mine. Nobody knows it but just us
three, and Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus and
Brave Horatius and Edward I and lovely Queen
Eleanor of Castile and Michael Angelo Sanzio
Raphael and Aphrodite and Lucian Horace Ovid
Virgil and Felix Mendelssohn and Plato and Pliny
and Minerva and her chickens and Menander
Euripides Theocritus Thucydides and Louis II,
le Grand Conde, and the willows that grow by
Now Brave Horatius and me and Thomas Chat-
terton Jupiter Zeus are going to prayers in the
cathedral. The great pine tree is saying a poem,
and there is a song in the tree-tops.
AFTER this I lived in a great many other lumber
camps, and there were new people and new animal
friends and new nurseries and other cathedrals. I
studied in the woods and wrote down what I saw
and heard. In the spring of 1918 I went from Ore-
gon to Southern California, to do more research
work in natural science, earning my way by teaching
nature classes. In the winter of 1918 I published
my first nature-book, paying for it by taking
orders for it in advance.
In the summer of 1919 I came East, hoping to be
able to get another nature-book published. In my
going to see publishers, I came to the editor of the
Atlantic. While I was telling the editor about this
book, he asked me if I never kept a diary, and this
is the answer.
After the seventh year and far on into other
years I continued the diary ; but perhaps some other
time the story of all these things will be pieced
together and made into another book.